This new installation in the American art galleries comprises 11 intimate egg tempera paintings by San Diego-based artist Marianela de la Hoz. The group of works all were created in 2020 to 2021 in response to the transformative circumstances imposed by the global pandemic of Covid-19. A related installation features two self-portraits by local artist Carlo Miranda, who worked as a nurse during the pandemic.
During these very long months of confinement all of us have changed in many ways. At least for me it has been a time to reevaluate and confirm that the only treasures I have are my loved ones, family, friends, and art; everything else remained as non-essential.
The coronavirus pandemic assaulted me without prior notice, unraveling my plans, my references, leaving me incredulous and speechless.
My work tries to put aside internal censorship, my shyness and fear are removed. My work is dark and is full of black humor, sarcasm. During these days, how could I represent something unknown, mysterious, and invisible, something so threatening and painful?
A feeling of modesty invaded me and I could not invoke death in images, the same real death that appeared every day through the door. Perhaps I did not want to represent it so as not to hurt those who had lost a loved one and I also became aware with this insistent and imminent certainty of my own mortality.
Looking in the mirror I began to question myself very seriously about what is the use of what I do, especially in moments like this, what is my contribution to society?
At last I convinced myself to return honestly and with conviction, to what I am, to my essence, to the only thing I know how to do. Once again, I began to try to find paths, images, symbols, metaphors, references to show, point out, translate, document what the pandemic was causing in the feelings and behavior of human beings, myself included.
~Marianela de la Hoz, 2021
Read the Paintings from the Confinement exhibition label text in English and Spanish.
Featured at top right: Marianela de la Hoz, 2020, Global Coup d’etat (2020, Golpe de estado global) (detail), 2020. Egg tempera on board. Private collection. Image courtesy of the artist.