Carlos Zapata: Carnival- exhibition at Victoria Art Gallery

This is a small select exhibition. All of the work is for sale, mostly it is small scale, although there are a couple that are much larger.

And you’re wondering who Carlos Zapata is? Well he actually lives in Falmouth- his work has that rustic charm that dates back to William Wallis and the naive school that took off in Cornwall…

But Carlos is from Columbia, and he is a totally self- taught artist. He uses mixed media- wood, wax, paint, found objects…. So straight away I am attracted to the work- the use of  rubbish- cast offs- and bright colour is a bee’s honey pot draw! By taking techniques and skills from folk art around the world he can produce almost any style of work. If he can’t do it today, tell him and he’ll learn it in a week!

His small figurines, within a landscape of cast off wood pieces, rubber and  metal carry weight far beyond that of their actual mass. These tiny figurines often are overlooked, or spend their ‘lives’ trying to escape. I was particularly moved by the series beginning with childhood and ending in death. subtly dramatic as a full scale hysterical drama could not begin to comprehend.

The larger pieces can veer from the scary- a giant bass drum of almost idol worship…. but none  can speak to it- and the deeply moving, impossible challenges – that again, no one feels they can do justice to.

Despite being exhibited within the area of the small shop, there is a closeness, a personal proximity of these pieces which somehow transcends  the cute, the toy, the meaningless and speaks, shouts at us for attention.

The exhibition is being held at the Victoria Art Gallery until 4 September and entry is free!


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