Using rich traces of rust with cement and ash, Mexican artist Emilia Sirrs creates depth and color in her large abstract canvases.
The artist’s bold technique is shown to good effect on the walls of a home gallery in an ultramodern home on Random Road in Princeton.
Ms. Sirrs has found a unique showcase for her work in the home of Ilana and Mauricio Gutierrez where the Mexican artist presents her most recent exhibition of work through March.
The artist’s palette is one of earth hues that evoke the familiar and have a soothing quality with touches of azure and crimson for dramatic effect.
Although born in Cincinnati, Ms. Sirrs defines herself as a Mexican artist. She has lived most of her life in Mexico; it is where she developed as an artist while engrossed in the cultural richness of that country.
Since 1990, she has experimented in diverse media and more than 40 individual, collective, and social responsibility events in Mexico, United States, Asia, and Europe have provided international visibility for her work, which has been shown in the Ibero American Art Fair, Seoul; Acento Gallery and Ghaf Gallery, Dubai; Fisher Island Design Center, Miami; Galeria Crisolart, Barcelona; and Galeria Johanna Martinez, Belgium, as well as at various events in Mexico.
The exhibition, which is open to the public, consists of a series of 14 abstract paintings. The artist’s use of metallic rust, cement, ashes, and bold dashes of striking red and blue hues results in work that has warmth and depth. The effect is one of mystery.
“Each of Emilia’s paintings begins with a simple idea that progresses in complexity until the work is finished, with no pre-conceived notions,” said home gallery owner Ilana Gutierrez. As Ms. Sirrs explained, her creative process “starts with an abstract concept that is not constrained by an established purpose, objective, or method. I prepare paints and materials using mundane elements, in this case rust, concrete, and ashes, and then let the brush strokes lead me to the place where my inner feelings reside. The final product always expresses my vision of how to mix innovative materials and techniques in a way that is vividly captivating.”
The paintings demonstrate an artistic style that establishes a rapport with the spectator by sharing and transmitting the abstraction of human feelings through textures and shades of color. Her work aims to establish a dialogue where matter and visual impact do the talking. According to Emilia, sometimes the material aspects of a painting surpass its intellectual or creative intent, which helps to establish an immediate connection.
Together with her husband Mauricio and their three children, Ms. Gutierrez shares a unique architect-designed ultra-modern home on Random Road in Princeton. Besides a large number of windows letting in natural light, the home has a great deal of wall space as well as gallery space dedicated to the showing of art. Ms. Gutierrez’s mother is the Mexican-based art dealer Eva Beloglovsky and the couple has a growing collection of canvas paintings, prints, and sculpture, including some displayed outside.
I have lived with art all of my life,” said Ms. Gutierrez, whose mother has been an art dealer for 40 years. “She always made it a point for us to be involved.”
When the couple moved to Princeton, they found a house that suited their own extensive art collection. Now they are keen to “expose the Princeton community to Mexican and Latin American Art,” said Ms. Gutierrez who was introduced to Ms. Sirrs’s work through her mother.
“My mother loves Emilia’s work and deeply believes in her as a professional artist who is producing abstract work that is emotional rather than purely intellectual. Emilia’s work shows a high sense of emotion as well as great academic standards. She created this work specially for the walls in our own gallery with the thought that it could go into any home, public, or corporate art space.”
Still, not many people would welcome strangers traipsing through their home looking at the artwork on the walls. Intrigued by the idea of a home gallery, I asked Ms. Gutierrez about the concept. “Even though this is not a public space, we feel comfortable sharing this experience with the community. Collectors and art lovers are welcome by appointment,” she said. “This experience is so satisfying we are planning another show sometime in the near future. It has been a great source of inspiration to pursue the idea and share responsibilities with my artistic business partner Yamile Slebi.”
Asked if the business partners might be opening an art gallery in Princeton at some time in the future, Ms. Gutierrez said that she hasn’t ruled it out. “Time will tell and the idea is not disregarded,” she said.
To make an appointment to view the exhibition, which will be on display through March, email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.