Art & Culture
Artist Rebecca Sharp Will Debut Her Solo Show at Martins&Montero - I Am a Place

The exhibition explores the diversity of worlds vying for an uncertain future

Says Rebecca Sharp, “The surreal is no longer in works of art, which are mere reflections of what takes place physically.”

Wise ecstatic polycule, 25x25cm

Set to open at Martins&Montero Brussels on June 20, Rebecca Sharp’s solo exhibition I am a place features a set of small-format paintings exploring the coexistence of antagonistic realities vying to manifest themselves in a context riddled with uncertainty. The show’s title suggests that each such reality represents a fully-fledged place, a potential society that resists the opposing forces that attempt to suppress it. Sharp also identifies herself as a place, a fertile ground for the expression of complex worlds. Serving as representations of these vied-for spaces, her paintings run the gamut from utopian ideals to dystopian scenarios, outlining the diversity of narratives that compete for prevalence in an uncertain future.

Sitting and talking, 25x25cm

A critical observer of the surrealist movement, Rebecca Sharp examines the particularities of women’s work, whose imagery is built on existential questions and unconscious representation. Many of her images originate through meditation, which she has been a practitioner of for 20 years. The thinking of United States philosopher Donna Haraway, who deals with our urgent need to figure out how to live in a world marked by change, also informs I am a place. The exhibit invites us to consider the complexity of time and the nonlinear nature of human experience, challenging conventional notions of past, present, and future.

I will voice your secrets elsewhere, 25x25cm

While working on the pieces in the exhibit, Sharp delved into the work of the artist Hieronymus Bosch, who, in her own words, represents the world we live in today, a paradox of beauty and torture. Building on this reference, she incorporates human figures to illustrate the surreal aspect of contemporary living. Using flaxseed oil and oil paint, she devoted particular attention to the background finish in her compositions. These backdrops create a distinctive atmosphere, in between “bruises and clouds,” at once giving off a sense of being inside and outside the picture.

Fruit silicone, 25x25cm

Sharp painted while listening to the soundtrack of Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi film Interstellar (2014). She finds that a scene from the film sums up the concept behind the painting series and the exhibition itself. The father finds himself behind the library, in the quantum world, as he attempts to communicate with his daughter in the living room. “They’re two worlds coming into contact,” Sharp explains, “trying to communicate, and indeed communicating, but in a way which we are unable to grasp in a merely rational way.”

Just give me a moment, 25x25cm
Words: Sphere Editorial
Photos: Tony Prikryl
Published on June 11, 2024