Beautiful Sketches of Hands and Portraits by Lui Ferreyra


Lui Ferreyra draws colorful portraits of hands and faces,The most hidden aspect of Ferreyra’s work is what would seem to be the most obvious:

Beautiful Sketches of Hands and Portraits by Lui Ferreyra

SInce the early 2000’s Lui Ferreyra has been working with a signature fragmented style. His technique, which is arguably the most prominent feature of his work, should not be thought of as mere embellishment. There’s a double move at play here. The first move is substantiated by a geometric matrix which functions as surface: it embraces and emphasizes the aspect of flatness within a complex network of geometric shapes, each unique unto itself. The second move is fulfilled by the cumulative effect of all the shapes functioning together as a color-field in which each shape contextualizes every other shape, thereby providing all the necessary visual cueing to manifest a kind of window one can look through. Surface and window, at and through, like language which points both at the world and back at itself.

Beautiful Sketches of Hands and Portraits by Lui Ferreyra

The formal interplay between flatness and three-dimensionality in Ferreyra’s work is managed by an adherence to technical limitations. For instance, the quality of flatness is achieved through the dispensation of gradation, which in traditional representational painting is used to convey naturalism or even realism. Instead, solid shapes are made to bump up edge to edge along interlacing linear boundaries. Therefore, any effect toward three-dimensionality is achieved by the relative tightness of the breakdown pattern, much in the way digital imagery depends on dots per inch to achieve lo-res or hi-res results. In his technique, Ferreyra seeks a happy-medium in which the image is neither completely spelled out nor completely impenetrable. One can choose to dwell within the surface of the work, or slip through into the simulated space the shapes help to contextualize. In this regard, it is the viewer who completes the image in his/her own mind by synthesizing the abstract shapes into a cohesive, intelligible whole. A similar effect was employed by the impressionists during the 19th century. However, instead of brushy pointillism, Ferreyra’s work is imbued by the all-pervasive digital character of our own 21st century; a labyrinthine, fragmented network of connectivity.

The most hidden aspect of Ferreyra’s work is what would seem to be the most obvious: the question of subject-matter. In his various depictions of figures and landscapes there’s an important resistance against narrative cues. Typically, narrative interpretation takes on a primary role within the context of western art, and therefore something the western mind is conditioned to look for. In this case, while the possibility for narrative interpretation hasn’t been completely obliterated, it does take on a secondary role. In the absence of obvious narrative cues, the emphasis can shift to visual perception, where the eye can adopt a seeing mode instead of a reading mode. In a certain way, the subject-matter of the paintings at hand (i.e. the figure, the landscape, etc.) become the vehicle for the true subject of his work: the breakdown of visual experience itself and its re-presentation.

In recent years Ferreyra’s work has been included in some of the region’s most prestigious invitationals and competitions such as, “Colorado Masters”, “The Best of Colorado” and “Art of the State”. Recent commissions include a 50′ mural for chef Jennifer Jasinski’s Stoic & Genuine restaurant (Top Chef Masters), a portrait for the Institute for Children’s Mental Disorders, three portraits for the Colorado Symphony, and two landscapes for The Foothills Art Center. His work has garnered both regional and international attention through print and online publications such as, New American Paintings, Art Ltd, 303 Magazine, Art Papers, The Denver Post, The Westword, Forbes, Colossal, Huffington Post Arts & Culture, My Modern Met, Fubiz, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, DesignCollector, Booooooom, Empty Kingdom, et cetera.

Lui Ferreyra’s work can be seen in person at William Havu Gallery where he is currently represented (1040 Cherokee St. Denver, CO).

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