Portraits, Caroline Mesquita’s second solo exhibition at T293, shows a series of new large-scale sculptures of patinated brass. The artist takes over the gallery space with eight expressive sculptures, bigger than life mask-like portraits depicting both humans and animals, honoring recurring figures and portraying the iconic characters of Mesquita’s work.
The large-scale sculptures are all made of rolled and patinated brass sheets. The colorful pigments are created through chemical reactions with the metal, especially design by Mesquita through different chemical mixtures. With this technique, Mesquita manipulates the metal like a form of painting. What was once shiny, reflective and glossy is cut, grinded, and oxidized to reveal the many elements within, shifting in texture and in tone and finally adding to surfaces a variety of shades of brown, green and pink.
These portraits have an ambiguous materiality, like old objects patinated and weathered by time; but they have also a mechanical modern aspect, polished and prepared. The forms are simple and gestural. Timeless figures inspired from universal depictions of worshiped items from mythological and imaginary creatures, these portraits have their own aura and personality, with intense eyes and expressions, they seem looking at us as much as we look at them, like peaceful, protective and joyful figures who would keep an eye on us.
CREDITS: Courtesy of the artist, T293 Rome