Essay by Gallerist of { Poem 88 } : Robin Bernat

Artist: Pamela Diaz Martinez:

Solo Show titled: An idiosyncratic path toward.... December 8, 2018 to January 5, 2019

In contemporary art, explorations of the divine are rare. A more general reference to spirituality sometimes happens but it's almost as though works of a spiritual nature must adhere to a very non- specific, non-denominational expression. The traditions of religious art-making diverged from and remain distinct from contemporary art. Many years ago, a doyenne of our art community passed away. At her memorial service, two eulogies were given: one by her dear friend in the art community and the other by her cousin who spoke of her unshakeable faith that had brought her great comfort through her illness. At the time I was so struck how I had known Genevieve for twenty years but that she had seemed to keep her faith private and entirely separate from her art and our arts community. Something about it felt truly sad because, in reality, the contemporary art world can be so full of cynicism and irony, where would be a place for expressions of religious devotion?

It has been a pleasure to get to know Pamela Martinez and to hear her story of how she discovered her faith and what it has meant to her life. You will see in these works, precisely as she titles them: observations and recordings of her experience of the Holy Spirit.

She asks and answers about her experience:

When was the last time you felt the wind or detected its presence? Was it an unsympathetic gale or a warm, cordial breeze that crossed over you, making itself known? I had an encounter with something much like that but more considerate and tenacious. My experience was life-altering. I have come to understand that what I experienced was the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity. The Holy Spirit is a paradoxical being who is powerful yet gentle, unknowable and extremely personal, logical and yet inscrutable. I am making portraits of the Holy Spirit in the foreground of a landscape, caught in a fraction of a moment. They are meant to represent the chaotic and the intentional nature of God.

I start out with a drawing and proceed to remove from it until the purest essence of color and form remain. The process is reductive, which mirrors scripture. Referring to Jesus, John the Baptist says, “He must increase and I must decrease.” Scripture is the philosophical vantage point from which I work. The pieces in this series are made of pastel on a plastic paper. Not fixed to the surface. They represent the permutations of wind. And of the Holy Spirit.

I hope you will enjoy this exhibition and please be sure to visit us again next week for the performance of Cantos y Cuentos Chamber Ensemble on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 7:30pm.

1123 Zonolite Road NE Suite 20A Atlanta, Georgia 30306 tel 404.735.1000