Heavy Ground • Arturo Sanchez Jr.

Jun 18 to Jul 7, 2020 • Tall Gallery

The exhibition “Heavy Ground” by Arturo Sanchez, Jr., is an ongoing exploration of the ideas of heaven, earth, and hell. For this chosen iteration of a sustained premise, the artist thought of activating the meanings of heavy and ground – the ground or surface of his wall-bound works makes for literally heavy objects when lifted; the subject matter, on the other hand, is the intangible weight of our current condition and our feelings.

Supposedly slated for April coinciding with the Holy Week, Sanchez initially anchored this exhibition to tackle the values of the Catholic devotion to Christ’s passion and cross. In commemorating this ritual, it is a time for reflection and repentance. The installation “Faith Fake Fade” was conceptualized and created in January inspired by the Black Nazarene procession. The image of a hanging crucifixion has always haunted the artist. The study of this three-dimensional piece was a collage shown in a previous exhibition titled “Matter and Spirit” and has now evolved into this evocative experience of an actual suspended figure and sprawling hands; filling in both a massive foreground and providing soul to the artist’s idea. In the middle of Sanchez’s artistic production, all movement was halted because of the pandemic. We were forced to take a prolonged Holy Week holiday –a time for introspection. The direction of the artworks pivoted to a contemplation towards our present situation.

Heavy ground in mining or racing terms is a weak ground; it’s not ideal and can cause failure. It’s a type of land that needs creativity and persistence to be functional. Similar to the experience achieved by the series “Order and Chaos” that appears to be lined-up black square paintings, you can only see the trapped images clouded by smoke and stain through a patient, keener and intimate viewing. The process of hunting and gathering, layering of collage and resin, the shifting of narratives, and the completion of different layers of a story has resulted to the works “Where We Find Ourselves In Now”, Mass Hysteria”, “Suddenly Gray”, and “In the Midst of the Unthinkable”. Each a response to the state of our, more than ever, intertwined lives. The artist marks his understanding of the world as something we can collectively relate to. Having to experience a global pandemic highlights the role of an artist as history’s storyteller. Whether cramped in our personal space viewing the exhibition on our devices or socially-distanced inside the gallery, we are witnesses of humanity’s narratives through Sanchez’s body of work.

Artworks from the Show

In The Midst of the Unthinkable

In The Midst of the Unthinkable, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 42×54 in

Mass Hysteria 1

Mass Hysteria 1, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 42×54 in

Mass Hysteria 2

Mass Hysteria 2, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 42×54 in

Suddenly Gray

Suddenly Gray, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 96×64 in

Where We Find Ourselves in Now 1

Where We Find Ourselves in Now 1, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 48×42 in

Where We Find Ourselves in Now 2

Where We Find Ourselves in Now 2, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 48×42 in

Where We Find Ourselves in Now 3

Where We Find Ourselves in Now 3, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 48×42 in

Order and Chaos 1

Order and Chaos 1, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 18×18 in

Order and Chaos 2

Order and Chaos 2, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 18×18 in

Order and Chaos 3

Order and Chaos 3, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 18×18 in

Order and Chaos 4

Order and Chaos 4, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 18×18 in

Order and Chaos 5

Order and Chaos 5, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 18×18 in

Order and Chaos 6

Order and Chaos 6, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 18×18 in

Order and Chaos 7

Order and Chaos 7, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 18×18 in

Order and Chaos 8

Order and Chaos 8, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 18×18 in

Order and Chaos 9

Order and Chaos 9, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 18×18 in

Order and Chaos 10

Order and Chaos 10, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 18×18 in

Order and Chaos 11

Order and Chaos 11, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 18×18 in

Order and Chaos 12

Order and Chaos 12, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, Acrylic and collage in clear cast resin, 18×18 in

Faith, Fake, Fade

Faith, Fake, Fade, Arturo Sanchez Jr., 2020, (in 3D) installation, fiber glass resin, size variable