DANIELA ELBAHARA     ( Huichapan 1–1, Hipódromo, 06100, CDMX — Tuesday to Friday (By appointment only) – Press / appointments: danielaelbahara@gmail.com, @danielaelbahara )

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06.29.23 - 08.05.23
Sofía Ortiz & Brendan Fagan

DANIELA ELBAHARA presents “CUATES”, a group exhibition by the Mexican painter Sofía Ortiz and the multidisciplinary American artist, Brendan Fagan.

The name of the exhibition refers to the close relationship that exists between the artists, who even without sharing kinship have a connection.

Sofía Ortiz (Mexico City, 1988), a graduate of RISD and Yale universities, and Brendan Fagan (Portsmouth, Virginia, 1978), well-known in the New York art scene, became friends sharing a studio in Mexico City. As they parted ways, they continued to hang out and reflect on their work. Their meeting point was drawing, the predominant use of blue and organic forms.

Ortiz y Fagen's work shares an interest in nature's ability to dominate, inspire, and terrify. His drawings show “the dissonance between reality and perception”. That is to say: what we see is not the observable world, but a more faithful representation of what they perceive from their personal perspectives.

In this exhibition both artists produced new work. Fagan uses a different canvas: denim. First he draws on it with chlorine and then paints with oil, producing textures similar to chemical reactions. In his work, plants and body parts constantly change size, altering our understanding of the environment and its components as a psychedelic experience.

Ortiz makes landscapes in watercolor and Chinese ink on paper. The size of the format used is large or small, also pointing to the importance of observing the general or the detail. The artist likes to observe nature, and Fagen likes to observe himself and others. Both share a feeling of outsiders but are capable of connecting with the sublime.

"The “Ghost Has No Home"
Mario Zoots

Daniela Elbahara is proud to present “The “Ghost Has No Home” Mario Zoots' 1st solo exhibition in space.

The Denver-based artist shows a series of paintings created with a variety of analog and digital techniques, in which he reuses 1980s fashion ads, reforming and applying washes of monochrome paint that separate the image from its original context. .

In "The Ghost Has No Home," Zoots unfolds a cryptic narrative that evokes the spectral nature of memory, identity, and place. Drawing on theories of art such as the rhizome, a concept introduced by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Zoots's work embodies the non-linear and interconnected nature of the human experience. His work also bears a distinctive echo of Walter Benjamin's notion of "aura" and its decay in the age of mechanical reproduction, as each fragmented image loses its original context and takes on new meaning in the assemblage.

The found photographs, selected and assembled, evoke an ethereal atmosphere that immerses the viewer in a liminal space between the known and the unknown. By juxtaposing disparate elements, Zoots creates a visual syntax that defies linear narratives, leaving interpretation open to the viewer's imagination and psychological projections.

"The Ghost Has No Home" alludes to the elusive essence of memory, identity and time. This spectral presence, not tied to a singular location, serves as a metaphor for the fragmented nature of our collective experience, moving through the past, present, and future.

In this exhibition, Mario Zoots embodies a daring and provocative approach. Collage as a technique can be perceived as a re-appropriation of elements that belong to others. This notion resonates with the graffiti antecedents of Zoots, where he "stole " building spaces and train cars throughout Denver to make their mark. For the artist, the element of risk is essential within the creative process; without it, art cannot truly exist.


Mario Zoots (b.1981) lives and works in Denver, CO, where he received his MFA from the University of Denver in 2014. As a lens-based artist, he employs modes of appropriation and collage. Altering mass-produced images, found photographs, and pop culture icons to reimagine and question the belief systems that shape our world. 

Zoots’ work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at museums and galleries, including the Museum of Image + Sound Sao Paulo, Brazil (2010); Preteen Gallery, Mexico City, MX (2012); K Contemporary, Denver, CO (2017, 2019, 2022), Straat Museum in Amsterdam (2022) Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, CO (2023) and most recently at Daniela Elbahara, Mexico City, MX. In addition, his work is featured in The Age of Collage: Contemporary Collage in Modern Art and Cutting Edges: Contemporary Collage, published by Gestalten, Berlin, Germany. He is represented in Denver by K Contemporary and in Mexico City by Daniela Elbahara.

Zoots is the Curator of Collé, a publication exploring the world of contemporary collage, and Curatorial Manager for New Projects, an arts initiative designed to foster experimentation and collaboration.

"Resplandor sólido"
02.02.23 - 01.04.23
Hugo Robledo

Color fades before our eyes. The sunset dims, the flower pales and the skin ages. Color is a transitory phenomenon, perpetually in a state of flux. Color is a system of faith. In physics, it has been explained that the color we see is not inherent to objects, but rather an interpretation that the human brain generates based on the light spectrum reflected by surfaces. If color is mental data, what does its materiality constitute? This exhibition is a subjective inquiry into this question.

Materiality is a key aspect of the works that comprise this exhibition. At a time in which the dematerialization of the image seems an accomplished fact, the economy, industry and environmental concerns remind us that reality is still tangible and very concrete. In the digital age, extractive industries are more profitable than ever: lithium, copper, graphite, among many other minerals, are stripped from the earth to fulfill the relentless demand of new technologies.

During the late 1960s, writer Lucy R. Lippard observed the increasing dematerialization of artistic processes, in which the artist would be in charge of designing the works to be later executed by craftspeople, thus making the creative act more mental than manual. Five decades after that transition, I personally assume that the artistic process is not only mental, but also manual. I think that curiosity about ideas is as important as the findings that the tactile experience of materials generates. As such, my process involves both the pursuit of learning the craft and the construction of thought.

The choice to use certain techniques and materials associated with art from older eras responds to the search for the manual procedure of color. The medieval craft of tempera grassa, a direct antecedent of oil painting, requires a strictly organized and constant work system. As a pre-industrial pictorial method, tempera lacks the immediate quality of previously prepared color. This inconvenient feature results in a repetitive and meditative state of mind. On the other hand, ceramics have been continuously with mankind from ancient times to the present day, in almost all cultures, and remain as a day-to-day material. I find its fragility as an object and its persistence as a material fascinating. Archaeological evidence confirms that ceramics survive the ruin of civilizations.

The works in this exhibition encompass a semantic field of the built environment. At the boundary of representation and abstraction, ambiguous mental spaces reveal water mirrors, reservoirs, fountains and ducts. Bodies of water as reflections-illusions have cultural connotations of the spiritual world as well as of hygiene and physical health. The frame-glows that appear in the paintings refer to the experience of color through screens. The ratios of the works are 16:9, 4:3 and 1:1, which are all formats used on electronic displays and in photography.

Painting is a vital impulse that has always been with our species: to anchor the chromatic phenomenon that always fades away. The oldest known paintings are found in the darkness, protected from light in caves. The deep earth is total darkness, and therefore, devoid of color. Even though light makes the phenomenon of color possible, light has the power to destroy color. Color only appears for a finite time. The idea of permanence has followed art since Prehistory. Art is a field for thinking that eventually nothing is eternal, and that life and color are precious because they perish.

Hugo Robledo
Mexico City, February 2023.