April 23, 2024

Feeling the world around us is futile unless it is tactile.

As daily participants of a multi-sensory culture through societal and digital interactions, we tend to overlook their affective impact in their fundamental forms. With the perpetual ingestion of new information through mobile technologies, we either become mindless in an automated, scrolling process, or overthink with concrete presumptions and forethought instead of ‘letting our minds go’ to feel an uninhibited world of the sublime.

This exhibition entitled Con-Sensus, a hybrid of words in Spanish (‘Con’, or with) and Latin (‘Sensus, or thoughts and emotions), invites the viewer to explore a consensus of interpretations of reflective and emotive visions of color, texture and form by Fabrizio Bianchi, Eduardo Lapetina and Renzo Ortega. We encourage the viewer to let go of how you think and let the different layers and fields of colorful medium take control of their senses and absorb what these artists felt as they envisioned the expansive worlds they have immersed themselves in.

Fabrizio Bianchi

Artist statement:
Exploring the motivations and mechanisms to my artwork and identity is like viewing a tactile and textured Venn diagram existing in an oval of duality between multiple congruent currents: North and Latin American cultures, explorer and scientist, digital and traditional mediums, tranquil and chaotic energies, concrete and abstract styles. Painting and drawing have always been my aesthetic refuge, emphasized by my new series of circular abstract landscapes resulting from a methodical yet fluid series of motions of applying inks, diluted charcoal and watery solutions of paints. These compositions with subtle forms and concentric rings overlapping and running parallel to one another have created a new visual language, filtering layers of substance in concentric fields of sensory experience.

I have used painting and drawing as a personal, aesthetic refuge exploring many different styles of artwork while following two generations of artists in my family. Fragmented memories of North and Latin American cultures often emerge in my work: graffiti in Buenos Aires; artwork and imaginary languages of Xul Solar and Roberto Matta; and the ‘fileteado’ style of brushwork from Argentine store signs. These identity landscapes have recently evolved into an energetic series of angular lines, gestural marks and bold splashes of color called ‘graffiti-scapes’. This new visual language has become an act of memory, merging past and present into a sublime, faceted perspective filtered through a kaleidoscopic world in hopes of establishing where I belong.

Fabrizio Bianchi is a second-generation Latinx artist living and working in Durham, North Carolina. Over the years, he has created a wide range of acrylic artworks using different styles and subject matters mostly revolving around abstract landscapes. Fabrizio has displayed his work in various venues nationwide including the Eno Arts Mill, NC Museum of Art, CAM Raleigh, Frank Gallery, Diamante, Artspace, and others. He earned his Bachelor in Painting from East Carolina University, and his Master in Painting from the University of New Mexico. Fabrizio works as a graphic designer, painter and teacher of traditional and digital art classes in the Triangle. He aims to expand his practice through process videos and virtual instruction in both English and Spanish.

Renzo Ortega

Artist statement:

I am a painter, and the present I live influences my work. I think paintings are relevant because they are historical documents. Through painting, we gain knowledge of cultural, political, and social contexts and learn about people’s feelings about them. I want to create a historical narrative in my artwork with a contemporary painting practice that draws on the medium’s conventions but embraces its diversity of styles. I am interested in the interaction between the work of art and the general public. For this reason, when exhibiting my paintings, I seek to generate experiences that welcome the viewer, share my story, and create a connection through their interpretations.

My immigrant experience in the United States of America has shown me that a border is a concept that exists because of its ability to be crossed. Different groups of people have inhabited the continent for centuries. In my work, I use the tradition of easel painting and its narrative to build bridges for people to cross and, simultaneously, facilitate spaces for viewers to make their interpretations; it is an invitation to be part of the depicted story. I believe that exchange is the key to preserving cultures and evolving traditions by adapting them to contemporary experiences.

With my artistic practice, I represent the voice of my LatinX and immigrant community, their work and contributions, and what I consider a crucial element: the ethnic and cultural diversity of the country in which I live. I want my pictorial project to become a manifesto of energy in motion that will continue to cross borders, generating ties and creating communities that exist not only because of the physical presence of its members but also because of the information they carry within and their evolutionary process.

My artwork reflects a varied intellectual experience and development as an artist. In Lima, Peru, where I grew up, the color of the Andes blends with the gray of urban chaos. In New York, I lived for 16 years surrounded by people of different cultures, and now I live in the small, green town of Carrboro, North Carolina. These cultural and geographical elements are part of my identity; My plastic work contains that diversity, and I embody it in the variety of pictorial styles and treatments that exist in it. In a single painting, you can find influences ranging from pre-Hispanic patterns, colonial iconography, native and popular art, and expressionism to gestural abstraction. This fusion occurs in my artistic production, like a continuous and constantly evolving soundtrack for a film of life. I believe that painting is part of existence, connected to the vast universe of artistic creation. Painting, for me, is an eternal journey.

Renzo Ortega (Lima, Peru 1974) is an artist based in Carrboro, North Carolina. Renzo received a BFA in painting from the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes del Peru (1999), studied at the Art Students League of New York (2000-04) and has his MFA in painting from Hunter College (2014). His artwork has been exhibited in solo and group shows in the United States and Peru, and have been commissioned to create public art projects and community murals. His recent solo exhibitions have been at TW Fine Art in Palm Beach (2022) and LUMP Gallery in Raleigh, North Carolina (2021). Renzo’s artwork has been exhibited in museums such as the NASHER Museum of Art (Durham, North Carolina, 2022), Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art SECCA (Winston-Salem, North Carolina 2020), the Works on Paper: 2017 Exhibition at The Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, in the S- Files Biennial at El Museo del Barrio (New York 2007) and Queens International Biennial at the Queens Museum in 2006. He is a recipient of the 2018-2019 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award, 2018- 2019 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artists Grant Durham Arts Council, 2018 Orange County Arts Commission Artist Project Grant and 2016 Queens Council on the Arts New Work Award. In 2013, as a Kossak Travel Grant recipient, Renzo traveled to Berlin to study German Expressionism, and also in 2015 traveled to Honduras as a part of the U.S. Department of Cultural Affairs Cultural Envoy Program. He partook in the Visiting Artist Residency at the Rubenstein Arts Center at Duke University in 2019, and In 2020, he was the inaugural artist of the New Wave Art Wknd artist-in-residence program in West Palm Beach.

Eduardo Lapetina

Artist statement:
My paintings are a way for me to enter the world, not an escape from it. A painting opens a door into a space in which a play may be staged, where plot points, conflict, climax, and resolution all come together. In the process of creation, a painting becomes a battlefield for my struggles about what is, what is not, what ought to be, what I like, what I love, what I hate, frustrations, disenchantment, embarrassments. My art exposes to the world my most private thoughts and feelings, forming a spatial connection between what lives within me and what is alive in everyone else.

I want my spaces to be painted without intention, without conscious technique, without anything that might interfere with the connections I seek to create. I do not want to keep a tradition. I am not looking for beauty, but the viewer might find it in my art. And it is not about any particular theme or motif, it is about effectively conveying the immaterial through materiality. My aim is to project energy, visual vibrations, light, voices, excitement, and enthusiasm, captured in a physical form that you can take home with you.

The steps leading to his abstract paintings are the art of hiding and disclosing. It is the discovery of mysteries of the subconscious mind that are part of his own personal legend. Personality counts. These abstractions hold the promise of dreams, visions, fears, intangibles, and will. It is a collaboration of mind and spirit. It is a form of magic that may speak both to you and for you with a private, secret, confidential language. They also require something from the viewer; it demands contemplation, study, feeling, and flights of fancy.

Eduardo Lapetina is largely self-taught and constantly experiments in his studio. This has led him to develop a painting technique with unique characteristics. He has also attended painting classes with Professor Kimowan McLain at the University of North Carolina and with painter Jane Filer at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro.