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Lisette Morel, the creator of various abstract artistic works and plays on light and dark, made a dramatic appearance at the Gallery Aferro art exhibit. As her presence was announced, the crowd created a semicircle around a blank wall which stood next to a ladder, a bucket of paint, a stack of canvas material, and a hammer.
Morel appeared through the crowd, barefoot and in an all white combination of a blouse and leggings. Without words, she tied her hair back and kneeled to her work station, opening the paint bucket and pouring black paint into a container. She stood up and took each of the three canvases one by one, twisting three knots into each one before dipping the knots into the paint.
She then scaled the ladder, holding a canvas in her hand, pulled nails out of her left breast pocket—leaving a black stain over her heart—and pounded the nails into the wall as fifty or so people stared in silence. The nine knots hung down, dripping paint onto the floor, as Morel proceeded to passionately grab each knot and swing it to her heart’s desire—leaving the black residue of her emotion on the wall. She wiped her hands and feet free of the wet paint, her white outfit now paint splattered, and exited as quickly and silently as she had entered. The paint on the wall will remain until the end of the current exhibit, which goes through May 26th.
Aside from this work, Lisette Morel and a number of other artists are featured throughout the studio, with the first floor capturing a number of abstract plays on color and dimension. Certain works begin on the wall and forget to stop, moving onto the floor and out into all three dimensions past their origins as two dimensional works hung up on a wall.
Another white canvas is marked in copper metallic spray paint, originating as a neat singularity that uncoils rapidly into chaos.
The abstractions don’t have definitions written out for them, so staring deep into the curves and bends of black and white is like staring into a Rorschach test where you are both the patient and psychologist.
The second floor, however, is instantly a juxtaposition to the abstract images below. The first site is a wall of male nudes by Luis Carle and Gerardo Castro, but they accentuate feminine aspects to question gender norms and the binary gender classification system.
Another wall displays Ernesto Rodriguez’s giant colorful ice cream bars with ants made from spoons crawling around. Each ant is uniquely painted with rust colored paint, bringing the creatures to life in the scene that reminds one of a childhood summer day.
Past these is a collection of three Caribbean still life paintings. An arm’s length out from a wall and a bookshelf, the corners of the painting barely make it into one’s periphery when the books are at your back. This seems counterintuitive since the images are blurred and are difficult to discern at such a short distance, but this is not unlike being in the picture itself with the living and breathing scenery constantly moving around you in a blur. This insinuates that the image is not close and blurred because of a lack of foresight by whomever hung the picture, but rather because the viewer is supposed to experience the vibrant colors and scenery as a virtual tourist in the Caribbean rather than a bystander at an exhibit.
These exhibits as well as photography and a music exhibit can be seen Wednesday through Saturday between 12PM and 6PM from now to May 26th at 73 Market Street in Newark.