Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Artist and the Odyssey

The Artist and the Odyssey: Paintings by Tabata Ayup
By Bethany Myers

Pachamoma by Tabata Ayup (sniff this one's hair at center left)
When I walked into the City Arts Factory at 29 S. Orange Avenue on Thursday, September 20, I was immediatley drawn to the colors in the Redefine Gallery. I saw beautiful, exciting paintings of women and was instantly hypnotized. The artist was Tabata Ayup from Mexico.  She is the first international artist to exhibit a solo show at CityArts Factory and Redefine Gallery.

Tabata experiments with numerous mixed mediums. Her artwork is composed of Acrylic, oil, spray paint, crayons, coffee, sharpie markers and some 3D elements such as textured paper.  I immediately saw the influence of Gustav Klimt

Tabata Ayup and Carolina Suarez-Garcia
I walked right up to Tabata and told her I loved her vibrant work. She responded with a humble thank you. We talked about the coffee technique and she had me smell one of the paintings. Ahhh, French roast! Tabata had been invited to show at City Arts by a friend of mine, Carolina Suarez-Garcia, also an accomplished and talented artist in Orlando.

"It was an odyssey to get here." Tabata's husband Pablo Alba told me. He told me that customs employees almost kept them from crossing the border with rolled up canvasses and other items for the show. After hours of scrutiny they were free to enter the country. Tabata packed most of her smaller paintings in one box with the skill of a Tetris champion, and mailed it to Carolina. It arrived just in time for the show.


The paintings themselves are like an odyssey, each one taking you to another part of Tabata's world. A number of Tabata's works are included below.  I am particularly taken with "Fibonacci".  The use of geometric shapes above the head could represent a crown over a regal face. The shapes connect to a spray painted sun which drips on to the writing and finally back to the woman's face. Also compelling, "Donde te Escondes" (bottom picture) seems to metaphorically promise discovery and the revelation of secrets.  In "Starting My Way" (below), I imagine a mermaid under the sea. She has on her father's (King Neptune's) crown made of a spikey fish fin.

Tabata Ayup's work will be displayed through  Oct 12.

The place was packed! It was great to see a fresh, new artist on the Orlando scene. 
City Arts is a multi-gallery venue showcasing an array of talented artists. If you've never been, go on the third Thursday of the month. All the galleries in the building are open and buzzing. 

In fact, every third Thursday of the month is a great time to be downtown for the Gallery Hop. Lots of galleries and restaurants showcase different artists on their walls, so get out and enjoy! 

For more information on the show, go to Carolina Suarez-Garcia's article in the The

Starting My Way

(left) Us     (right) La Pasion

(top) Donde te Excondes