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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018 2 years ago

AXIOM highlights international artists in ‘Impressions’ exhibit

The Fine Arts Consulting group's gallery looks at six artists from across the world.
by: Harry Sayer Black Tie Reporter

There’s a new exhibition at the AXIOM Fine Arts Consulting gallery — and it’s highlighting artists from across the world. 

“I love the way art is able to give people a visual takeaway to either set them down their own path of creativity,” Gallery Director Sorcha Baty said. “People come in and are introduced to artists they’ve never known before and really find something that they love or connect with.”

AXIOM has hosted gallery’s in the past highlighting the contributions of female artists. This summer, the “Impressions” exhibit, which runs through Aug. 30, examines six artists from across both Florida and the country that, fittingly, had left a strong impression on Baty herself. 

Juan Miguel Palacios 

Baty first discovered Palacios’ artwork when visiting the Art Basel show last December in Miami. The mixed-media artist creates vivid designs with vinyl and mixed technology such as drywall or wood boxes. His work tackles feelings of luxury, restlessness and mourning and the individual’s relationship with the environment. 

“It’s kind of an over-saturation of artwork at Art Basel,” she said. “When you find work that you like, you kind of do a double-take and zoom in; that’s definitely what happened with Juan’s pieces. It was refreshing, unlike anything at the art fair … this was something doing something completely authentic and never seen before.”

Johan Barrios

Baty met with Barrios somewhat coincidentally while traveling to Houston and spent a few hours speaking with the Colombian painter, who specializes in hyper-realistic figure paintings, in his studio. She said he impressed her with his passion, dedication, and large-scale artwork. 

Avery Lawrence

Lawrence caught Baty’s attention with his performance piece at the Orlando Museum of Art’s “Baggage Claims” show in December. The Philadelphia-based performance artist 

“I knew he’d be completely off the wall in a way people may or may not get,” Baty said. “There’s this excitement and sort of a surprise element where you have this artist where you see this confidence and know they’re going to give you something that people will stop and look at.”

Emanuel De Sousa

Emanuel De Sousa was a late addition to the show. Given his residence in London, Baty made several Skype calls to reach an understanding with the painter. They managed to work out a deal and showcase a couple of his pieces just two weeks before the show opened. Many of his paintings depict acts of tension and sacrifice. 

Florine Demosthene

Katy discovered Demosthene through an art blog — much of her art can be seen at the Lowe Museum of Art of Miami, the University of South Africa and in collections across the world. 

“From the first show we opened up, I always wanted two things to be consistent — a local tie and a female tie,” Baty said. “Floran was the only female artist I’d seen that ignited something. I really connected with her story.” 

Christopher Santos

Baty looked far and wide for artists to compose the new exhibit. But she found the last contributor in her figurative backyard.

Christopher Santos, a mixed-media artist who specializing in sculptures and Orlando resident, had a goal in mind with the busts he donated to the AXIOM — create a conversation about what he believes is Walt Disney’s racist past. 

“When I came down to Florida (for UCF’s fine-arts master’s program), I was baffled with how obsessed people are with Disney,” Santos said. “People are so infatuated with this fairy tale that they don’t necessarily know Disney, in the early days, was a really racist company that made racist cartoons that included people’s favorite characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie.”

He points to a 1933 Disney short film titled “Mickey’s Mellerdrama” where Mickey, wearing blackface and a beard made of cotton, performs a rendition of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” for a crowd. Santos’ busts faithfully depict Mickey, Minnie and Goofy from the cartoon to show audiences where those characters came from. 

“I’m just trying to educate people; I’m not trying to make people hate what they love,” Santos said. “I’m just trying to make them aware of the history behind it so they’re more accepting and understanding.”

Harry Sayer is the Black Tie Reporter for the Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and previously worked the Black Tie beat for the Observer newspaper in Winter Park and Maitland. You can catch him at one of Sarasota's fundraisers and shindigs. 


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