On Sunday evening, perched on the second floor of the Vodou Bar in Bed-Stuy, an art exhibit emerged featuring the works of Maya Farrow, Zola Zakiya and Anthony Jay Falcon, while tribal house music echoed through the hall. Three of Maya Farrow’s abstract paintings caught my attention.
It seemed simple at first—a well-balanced, two-toned painting misrepresented in the dim light. But a closer look revealed the illuminated blues and reds of equal intensity, fighting to become the forefront of positive space. The battle of complimentary colors created vibrating lines, which stunned my eyes again and again.
The blue was a nebulous sky, lightened slightly by daylight’s poor attempt to peak through. Contending was the red, tinged with orange, which gave it a pearlescent, metallic quality, like blood.
This painting superbly depicted Farrow’s play on color choice and how color plays us.
|Deep Ocean 2013|
|Deep Ocean 2013|
Standing over this work, I was absorbed by the areas where the fine dark lines clustered and where they dispersed into the yellow background. These lines pulled me in and I found myself making out images, like a child looking for pictures in the clouds.
Patiently waiting in the back sat a nearly ten-foot-wide predominantly red painting, which reflected the active energy from the room. Several layers of bright primary hues were revealed in the areas where the red was missing. It was the most captivating painting in the exhibit, and unsurprisingly the first to be sold.
I was reminded of a red door left ajar just enough to reveal a bigger, brighter world to the outside. Part of me was frustrated by the overbearing red layer, which hid previously created details. But then I wondered if I would have appreciated this hidden story if more of it was shown.
This work struck up many conversations as we all attempted to make sense of it according to the world we knew. I heard a girl describe the painting as a song, and the many layers represented different instruments with red being the voice that brings it all together. Even the window to the inner layers replicated sound frequency on an oscilloscope display.
I personally find abstract art very difficult to comprehend. However, Sunday night, I found myself and others so engaged in the work that it stimulated conversation for the night--and made this art exhibit a successful one.