Day to day - Robert Guerra

This gallery includes urban images that offer commentary and perspective to the everyday contrast of city life. The gallery examines the day to day joys, struggles and joie de vivre that occur around us, often times unnoticed, that leave a lasting fingerprint of influence upon the community and environment in which we live.      

Tour Pleyel, is representative of the artist view of society. The piece has a hint of pop art influence as it uses modified depictions of the ghosts from the video game Pacman. The overall tone has a sad or gloomy feeling as represented through the artists use of the color blue. The ghosts face have a dead look as illustrated through the rendering of the eyes and jagged line work of the mouth. in addition to one of the ghosts eyes being depicted in the shape of a teardrop, the rest of the composition also features teardrops sporadically illustrated throughout. The artists use of bold color is only visible in the word "help." It can be taken as the artists belief that today we are all ghosts of little to no substance swimming sadly around in our environments in need of help to regain a life that was once worthy of being lived to the fullest. Although the piece does not follow any formal criteria of pattern it does have a very modular design aspect with the composition seemingly divided in two.
Conversing with the Moon, is a three panel work that outlines two different forces within the same community/environment. The artist uses outlining color on the two renditions of people that bookshelf themselves into a more stark offering of a city building. The piece has somewhat of a balance that is achieved through the use of color. By using the same basic color schemes in the people in the piece it lends weight to the idea of humanity. Although, the figures on the right side do take up more room visually, I think that it is the mood and wellbeing that the artist represents that lends to the individuals feeling more emphasized in the work. The people depicted are also dressed in the same color clothing the artist uses to portray the building in, which also gives a sense of unity between the individual and the environment which they dwell.
Mural by Banksy, shows a rat wearing a peace necklace holding a blank protest sign. The piece is done with the use of black paint on concrete. It utilizes much of the medium itself for negative space which adds depth and contrast to the work. The proportion of the rat is obviously oversized and the fact that the artist chooses to personify the rodent is a commentary to the larger issue at work. I particularly liked that the artist chose to keep the protest sign blank (I specifically chose this work as other similar pieces had words placed on the sign)because I feel it offers a larger view of societies problems. By using a personified rat wearing a large gold peace necklace (I presume it is gold) it forces the viewer to look at one's own personal actions rather than just their voiced beliefs. Often times those that stand up and protest the wrongs of our society are indeed some of the largest problems within the society. Humans are hypocritical by nature and equating us to rats that pick and choose what they will believe in or stand up for at any given moment the artist challenges us to actually be better and not just seem better.
Solo Show of Fang Lijun, is a very remarkable piece that shows a hand grasping a baby in its fingers. The overall piece has a very geometric feel to it as the artist uses organic shapes to obtain the overall aesthetic. The artists choice of color pallet (primarily tertiary colors) give the piece a certain feeling of texture. Its texture is reminiscent of that of a stained glass window which I believe the artist achieves through a combination of color and shape. The baby in the piece is distinctly undersized in proportion of the hand which holds it. I believe that the choice the artist made to do so indicates the overwhelming impact that the world (symbolized by the hand)has in influencing us at a young age. It takes me to the question of.. our we products of our environment, or is our environment a product of us? I believe that the artist subconsciously answers this question by visually asserting the fingerprints that the world and events can leave on our psyche.
Mural by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, is perhaps one of my favorite pieces of the gallery. The work is simple enough in that it is a portrait of a young person staring up to the heavens. The artist uses the natural color and texture of the building to add a dimension of both depth and feeling to the work. The natural design of the building with it's A-framed roof can not even hold in the dreams of the subject. The rich color of the brick as well as the choice to use the complementary yellow bring out a very earthy and lifelike feel to the piece. The artist also allows for the space around the subject to add to the depth. Personally I also like the fact that the natural environment (the sky in this case) also becomes part of the artwork as the viewer can't help but to gaze to the heavens, much like the subject. This piece finds it's way to the gallery because it presents the idea that no matter what you may encounter as boxing you in, or hindering you, the possibilities in life are indeed limitless.
Mural by Bom'k, shows a cross section of a hand holding up a peace sign with its fingers sliced off. The artist uses vibrant color as the background to emphasize the subject matter. The stark grey hand set against a vibrant orange background catches the attention and directs the viewer to the message at hand (no pun intended). The composition naturally takes you through a movement of the eye from top to bottom as splashes of green ground the piece, and then the vertical growth of the hand directs the eyes upward. The artist is able to achieve a feeling of three dimensional form as evidenced through the subtle depth of the curving of the hand. I believe that the overall theme of this piece merits attention as well. I feel as though the artist is making a statement that ideals and beliefs can survive even in the most dire of circumstances. It lends hope to those that feel as though life has cut them down or stripped them of the ability to make a difference. even though the hand is not only severed at the wrist but also has it's fingers sliced away.. the message is still clear and thought provoking.
Tour Paris 13, 6eme etage, Appartement N 964 depicts an isolated child sitting in the corner of the room. The artist uses the natural landscape of the room to give three dimensional depth to the work. As the child is painted on the walls of the room the intersecting pint of the walls serve to add balance to the piece. The child is painted in three colors (red, white and blue) and symbolizes the country (in this case France) as an sad isolated child. The inscription on the wall also foughly translates to the "idiot of the family." The artist emphasizes the piece through the negative space between the figure and the words that sit above the child to the right. I believe this to be social commentary on today's disenfranchised youth. Singled out as incompetent the child is separated and forlorn in his belief that he is unworthy of interaction. Socially it comments on our growing feeling of isolation and longing to be accepted.
Mural by Faith 47, shows a saintly figure standing spiritually while holding an object. The artist not only uses the texture of the building to develop their message but also that of the landscape to offer insight an commentary to the consciousness of the viewer. With the placement of the piece next to a billboard advertisement for a strip club the weight of the saintly female figure is given an added dimension of strength and purity. The flowing wardrobe and opposition of light and dark offer the subject a lifelike and angelic presence. The rough texture of the brick building is outweighed by the linear flow of the wardrobe. With the addition of a soft color scheme of the figure that's offset by a dark background the artist unifies the piece adding a sense of harmony and spirituality to the piece. I feel as though the artist was able to add commentary not only through the subject of the piece but the placement as well. By painting an angelic holy figure next to a rather large advertisement for lurid entertainment they juxtapose the idea of women as being purely sexual beings for entertainment purposes only and drives home the idea of virtue into a modern day society that at times loses its own sense of self.
Untitled, shows a man happily standing amongst the trash dressed in flowing attire. The artist uses only white paint and the negative space created by his canvas to create the scene. By using the bold white color the artist adds instant emphasis to the work. The artist also uses a repetitious design in the wardrobe (small star like shapes) that add a depth to the piece. In a piece that has an overwhelmingly flat feel to it (due to the bold splotchy white coloring) the pattern on the scarf does give off a very subtle and nuanced depth to the work. This jovial figure represents the theme because it captures the inherent joy of life. Even though the man is set above what looks to be garbage and waste the feeling and happiness on his face is unwavering. Proving that the day to day living is rooted in happiness regardless of any one particular situation. It is a testament to the human condition.
Tour Paris 13, Exterieur, is an artist rendition of the statue of liberty. The artist uses a repetition and pattern to create both the main figure (statue of liberty) and the back ground. Through the use of a variety of different words, slogans and symbols used to fill the background and subject the artist achieves a unity to the overall piece. Which is remarkable because the variety of the words and symbols would in theory work to compete against the overall harmony. But in this case it works very well. The line work is very thick in its outline and the shape seems more fluid than rigid; surreal. The yellow background is littered with a variance of red writing which give the feeling of sunlight and helps to offset the statue and emphasize its importance. The proportion of the statue is skewed giving more weight to the bottom of the piece and a feeling of less stability toward the outreached hand holding the torch. The squiggly composition serves to sound off on the delicate nature of freedom and the communities which so many of us take for granted. I believe that the artist spurs not only thought but debate from the viewers as to what freedom is and how fragile of a thing it can truly be.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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