Margaret Thatcher Projects is pleased to presentBacanales Tropicales, an exhibition of paintings by New York based artist Omar Chacon. In his second solo show at the gallery, Chacon’s signature droplets of color-saturated paint return smaller, more concentrated, and brimming with energy and color. At the start of each painting, thousands of acrylic ovals are prepared, then peeled and collaged onto canvas. Taking advantage of the synthetic qualities of acrylic – its bright, slick sheen, and pliability, Chacon’s surfaces glisten with exuberant color, projecting a spirit of optimism with a nod to discovery, both in everyday life and in the surprising details of each painting.
Although his paintings are visually abstract, Chacon personifies each oval in the process of creating the individual elements of his compositions. Forming a synergy through color and commonalities between ovals as he composes his surfaces, Chacon’s paintings are a metaphor for a social gathering where individuals amass, swelling into an energetic conglomerate, enlightened by a diverse cultural mix. Bacanales, observed in the exhibition title and in the titles of his paintings, refer to the wild and festive spirit of the Greco-Roman god Bacchus as well as Colombian street vernacular for something that is optimal.
This synergistic energy is readily viewed in paintings such as Bacanal Manguara and Bacanal Cotoprix, where diverse ovals combine to highlight hues of yellow and green. In the painting Bacanal Cachaya, translucent bands of paint reveal the colors lying beneath, while smaller circles, dense with color, float over larger ones. Monochromatic ovals in tones of whites, blacks and blues deliver a “push and pull” effect. These elements join together and urge the viewer into movement and rhythm and thus encompassing the overall theme of Omar’s paintings: to give physical form to the intense celebration of life.
Omar Chacon was born in Bogota, Colombia. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, CA and his BFA from the Ringling School of Art and Design, FL . His work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally in cities such as Milan, Mexico City, and currently, at the Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL. In 2009, Chacon was selected as part of the Queens International Four, at the 2009 Biennial at the Queens Museum of Art, New York. Chacon is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2007 William and Dorothy Yeck Award through the Miami University National Young Painters Competition and a 2008 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. His paintings have been reviewed in Art & Antiques, Artnet, and Artweek Magazine, among others.