To a creative person any material from coloured water to marble can be employed to make art, even pulped paper. Although most of us have played with Papier Mache as children, in the hands of artist Umberto Alfaro, paper pulp becomes an excellent medium for constructing some of the most fascinating creatures. This exhibition transforms the gallery into a colourful world populated with faces and figures, land and sea creatures, fabulous flowers and mystical masks, all made from paper pulp.
Alfaro's forms, figures and icons are as solid as the wood from which his medium came. But paper pulp is more malleable then timber allowing the artist to construct his subjects with flare and give them intriguing textures and a variety of colour. The wall of large masks testifies to the diversity of shapes, surface textures and blend of colours the artist adeptly produces within the medium.
Much appreciated is the huge red bull's head of Power as it presents as a serious icon of strength. Meanwhile the gaily coloured Young Seahorse Playing in the Sea perched on it's base seems to epitomize the frivolity and freedom of youth. Alfaro also offers large round and square wall pieces that support a variety of subjects from bright yellow flowers to an imposing tortoise. However my preference has to go to the small sculptures as here the artist can play with arbitrary hues and exaggerated shapes. I enjoyed the elegance of the long neck and small head of Blue Horse Waking up and the jaunty little red bull Torito as well as the charming Camellita, a little pink camel. All well constructed and a delight to view.
There is much to see and consider in this exhibition of unique and high quality works of art. Do take the time to enjoy the fine craftsmanship of the forms made from an unusual material and you will find yourself responding well to the variety of objects. When you do so, you'll agree that Umberto Alfaro has indeed mastered the medium of papier mache.
Art Seen Home Read Another