By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt, FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2022
On April 3rd, my husband and I drove south to North Park for what we thought would be a quiet chat with Marianela de la Hoz, who is doing Sunday paint-ins at Art Produce Gallery where, along with Helen Redman, she is half of the bilingually-titled exhibition Retelling/Recontar.
We had no idea that, in the hour or so we spent in the small-but-mighty gallery, more than a few members of San Diego’s art world would show up to see what Marianela was up to. What she is up to is showing some terrific new pieces in an artistic dialogue with her co-exhibitor.
“We are both grandmothers, telling the same stories, but in different ways,” Marianela said. “How do we see the world and what’s happening in it—the world our kids are inheriting? We looked for the links between our artworks.”
She pointed out the similarity of facial expressions in two adjacent paintings: her own MeMe & the Influence and Helen’s Monster Mama, which also has something in common with Marianela’s Return to Infancy, whose Spanish title translates as: “In dreams I return to my infancy, an ignorant baby.”
What is particularly interesting about this show, curated by Art Produce owner Lynn Susholtz, is how the paintings are hung conversationally, making it easier for viewers to notice the similarities. In the accompanying catalog, with text by artist Bhavna Mehta, there are suggestions on How to Enter a Painting: “Paintings like repetition…They like having secret conversations. Surrender yourself in this exchange.”
An excellent thought for this exhibition.