High-rises with dramatic views call for dramatic art — and Lucía Rodríguez Pérez has risen to the occasion. 1 Bell Slip, located at the northern tip of Greenpoint along the waterfront, will now feature a gallery, and its inaugural exhibit will showcase Lucía’s kaleidoscopic solo show, Homecoming, curated by Romina Aurora. Opening on March 24 and running through May 31, Homecoming will feature over 30 original works, each highly playful, visually delicious, and geometrically dynamic. Residents and visitors alike are invited to take in the artistic splendor, and Greenpointers chatted with the artist to learn more about her work and process.
Greenpointers: Hi Lucía! How exciting to have your work kick off the 1 Bell Slip exhibition. How did that partnership, and the connection to curator Romina Aurora, come about?
Lucía Rodríguez Pérez: One thing I love about my connection with Romina is that it was very organic, we met through my husband. They connected over the fact that Romina is from Chile and he said, “Hey! My wife is from Chile!” She mentioned she was interested in connecting with Chileans so we invited her to our studio. At this point, I didn’t even know she was a curator or that she was so knowledgeable about art. The moment she saw my work she was very receptive and we started discussing it effortlessly. Briefly after that, she asked if I was interested in collaborating with her.
Based on what you’ve shared on Instagram, the colors in your oil on canvas works are so fun and lush. Did you have these pieces already made, or did the exhibition inspire their creation?
Most of the pieces have been part of a research about color that I have been working on for the past years, especially the last three years. I am glad that the colors came across as fun and lush, as one of my goals is to stimulate a perceptual and almost sensory response in the viewers. There will be one piece designed specifically for this exhibition. Romina suggested working with the space and with her support, I was able to develop a fun installation that takes the logic of my paintings into the space itself.
Your work often leads with playful shapes rich in quirky geometry and vibrant colors. How did you get pulled toward that kind of style?
I am very interested in playing with the narrow space that separates abstraction from representation. In my paintings, I like having elements that reference a structure or colors that create the illusion of light, but at the same time, I like seeing what happens if these structures and colors do not go all the way to becoming the representation of something but standing by themselves. I believe that this space is a field for ambiguity, where things are suggested but not completely given to the viewer, so the work is engaging and invites different ways of being read.
Tell us about yourself! How long have you been in Brooklyn and what has the borough’s art scene meant to you?
I moved to Brooklyn for the first time in 2014 to attend grad school and I fell in love instantly. One of the things the art scene here has given me is first-hand access to the work of other amazing artists. I do studio visits as often as I can with people that live around the area, and it inspires me to know that so many people are working and making interesting and fun stuff in such proximity to one another. There are also some great galleries that do a great job sharing the work of new artists.
What fascinates you most about this exhibition in Greenpoint?
As it is a solo show I am very excited to see all the work together. In the studio, as we make art, it can be easy to work in some pieces and put them aside and stay focused on moving forward. Having the opportunity to see what I have done in the past five years is very meaningful as I can be aware of the common thread throughout my practice. I am also happy to share this research with other people, as the work feels complete once an audience is engaging with it.
Are there any future projects you are excited about or would like to pursue?
I am very excited to get back into the studio and keep making work. I have a lot of ideas ready to go for the upcoming months and I am looking forward to having more opportunities to collaborate with people. This year has already been very fun as I have worked with the people from Peep Space, Deanna Evans Gallery, See You Next Thursday, and of course Romina from Romi Studio.
Anything else you’d like to add? Thanks for your time!
I invite everybody to come to the exhibition, check out the work and let me know what they think. As an exhibition within a living space, this show focuses on what spending time with images can bring into our lives. To really see something, and to do something as simple as spending time with shapes and colors can enrich our experience of the world. To open our minds to ambiguity is an opportunity to understand different possibilities. The work is open-ended, so more than a statement is an invitation.