Contemporary Art in the Americas Arte Contemporáneo en las Américas

Menina

Debra Barrera

Moody Gallery Houston, Texas, USA 04/08/2017 – 05/13/2017
P1120064-15

Mariah and Marie Laurencin, 2017. Archival print on granite. 7 x 4″. Courtesy of the artist.

P1120088-17

Installation view. Courtesy of the artist.

Versailles

Versailles, 2017. After Alexandre Benois’ painting The King Walked in Any Weather, from the series The Last Walks of King Louis XIV, 1898. Graphite on paper, velvet. 25″ x 30″. Courtesy of the artist.

Menina is a collection of works inspired by two rooms in my childhood home: the formal living and dining room. These rooms were decorated by my mother and filled with opulence and ornamentation; paintings of faux Dutch still life, gold tassels hanging from lamp shades, and pistachio green velvet pillows. Rarely used, the rooms became monuments to lavish events that never took place and a stage set for far away places utopic and unattainable.

My memory of girlhood is like these rooms. Surrounded by gendered customs of taciturn and decorum in hopes of something wonderful. The title of my exhibit, Menina, refers to Velasquez’ Las Meninas; a painting I first saw alongside my mother when I was still a child. I felt a connection with the Infanta and myself. We were both young girls surrounded, adorned, and imposed by a timeless aesthetic persistence: a non-confrontational beauty in the wake of a power we did not know we possessed.

– Debra Barrera, 2017

http://www.moodygallery.com/

P1120064-15

Mariah and Marie Laurencin, 2017. Archival print on granite. 7 x 4″. Courtesy of the artist.

P1120088-17

Installation view. Courtesy of the artist.

Versailles

Versailles, 2017. After Alexandre Benois’ painting The King Walked in Any Weather, from the series The Last Walks of King Louis XIV, 1898. Graphite on paper, velvet. 25″ x 30″. Courtesy of the artist.

Menina is a collection of works inspired by two rooms in my childhood home: the formal living and dining room. These rooms were decorated by my mother and filled with opulence and ornamentation; paintings of faux Dutch still life, gold tassels hanging from lamp shades, and pistachio green velvet pillows. Rarely used, the rooms became monuments to lavish events that never took place and a stage set for far away places utopic and unattainable.

My memory of girlhood is like these rooms. Surrounded by gendered customs of taciturn and decorum in hopes of something wonderful. The title of my exhibit, Menina, refers to Velasquez’ Las Meninas; a painting I first saw alongside my mother when I was still a child. I felt a connection with the Infanta and myself. We were both young girls surrounded, adorned, and imposed by a timeless aesthetic persistence: a non-confrontational beauty in the wake of a power we did not know we possessed.

– Debra Barrera, 2017

http://www.moodygallery.com/

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