Antigua, Guatemala (Nov. 14, 2018): Galeria Panza Verde is proud to exhibit the poetic new work of artist Kurtis Brand in a deeply moving show called “Quemada” (Burn). Since the volcanic eruptions on June 3rd in Guatemala, Brand has been developing a series of new work using the theme “Quemada” (Burn), primarily featuring abstract paintings using volcanic ash acquired from the aftermath of the violent eruptions of Volcan Fuego. The show represents a variety of works from 2D wall art to 3D sculpture. The opening had a marimba score playing modern Jazz notes with Brand’s exploration into local culture, complete with a bronze masa sculpture and 6 bronzed tortillas on display.
Quemada Artist Statement at Panza Verde
Fuego Volcano, always looking down on us, always watching us, is a constant reminder of the transient and ever changing nature of life. Fuego takes on many moods, sometimes silent, sometimes burning bright and beautiful, and other times turning violent and angry. We live at the foot of this true force of nature yet still think our lives are somehow bigger and more important than they actually are.
The concept of burning is central to Buddhist practice, and with Fuego, central to humans coexisting with nature (we are nature). In meditation we are taught to burn all delusions and the false realities we have been conditioned to accept throughout our lives, and to realize a larger truth as to how the universe is functioning. With Fuego, we are always reminded of the extreme fragility of our human existence and the fact that nature can just as easily provide us with life as it can quickly take it away. After this last tragedy when so many lives were lost or scattered to the wind, we are profoundly reminded of the true power nature has over our lives.
For these reasons the main theme of this show is “Quemada” and it is dedicated to all who deeply suffered the fate of the eruptions. But apart from the central theme of the show, I also felt it important to share my feelings as an expat artist living life in a culture foreign to mine where so many things are new and have such great influence over my current body of work. The pieces made from pita plastica, pita maguey, the bronze masa sculpture and the volcanic ash pieces are all influenced by daily life in Guatemala.
This show is a deep bow of gratitude to the people, life and culture of Guatemala. And it is also a profound thanks to the contemplative teachings I have been fortunate to receive and practice so I may better understand the nature of existence and our place in this universe.
More on the Volcano:
The eruption on June 3rd tragedy deeply affected Guatemalans who quickly united in relief efforts to search for survivors as well as those who may have perished under the burning ash and molten lava. To date the death toll is well over 100 people with many more left missing. Even more have been left homeless.
The Exhibition runs from November 14 – December 14th at Galeria Panza Verde, a gallery on the upper level of the hotel and restaurant Meson Panza Verde, one of Guatemala’s most beautiful and respected venues in the historic town of Antigua.
December 8th from 1-3pm we will host an art dealer and press event to share the story with a poetry reading and live music event.
Kurtis Brand is a multi-disciplinary artist from NYC working in Guatemala.