CONTACT: Fernando Porras, Assistant Professor of Art
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 12, 2009
Athens, W.Va. – A Concord University professor is gaining renown worldwide with his art depicting the beauty and mystery of the people who live in a rain forest in Venezuela.
When Fernando Porras walked through the rain forest, he felt he was being watched. Eventually he figured out that he had been followed. It was the children from the Warao tribe; hence, the subject for his paintings: the Hidden Series.
Fernando Porras reveals through oils and watercolors his stories of this mysterious and beautiful people he has been in contact with since his childhood. It is his intent to create some awareness of the importance of cultures like the Warao and their plight to keep their customs alive.
Mr. Porras, assistant professor of art at Concord, has been telling this story about the Warao people since 1999. “The Warao people are comprised of numerous tribes that live in northeastern Venezuela,” stated Porras. “I captured their beautiful faces in sketches and drawings that I made this past summer and used as a reference for the paintings in this show.”
Porras has dedicated himself to studying color and light and how the play between positive and negative spaces affects the viewer when worked on large canvases. His use of color is based on the concepts learned from his years of working as art director with color separations for offset printing. However he stays away from the restrictions this may cause, never reducing the use of color to a formula and allowing his feelings to claim the best part of every piece.
He is represented by Mark Hachem Gallery with locations in New York and Paris, where his paintings have been on display. In addition to those locations, his work has been shown in Toronto, Canada; Miami, Fla.; Palm Beach, Fla.; and Washington, D.C. His work has also been on display at the Arthur Butcher Gallery at Concord.
“There is a painting called Woman,” noted Mr. Porras, “that is a personal favorite. I visited the tribe the night before my friends’ wedding and sitting with them around the fire served as inspiration for several portraits. I also met with a little friend I painted when she was seven. I saw her again this past summer—six years later—and now I have painted her again in exactly the same position. Both portraits will be at this show; you can see her posing at seven and again at 13.”
His show, Fernando Porras, Warao, Children of the Rain Forest will open at the Mark Hachem Gallery in New York on Thursday, March 26 with a reception by invitation only at 6:30 p.m. Mr. Porras will have a brief lecture about his paintings at the reception. Those interested in attending the show may log on to the gallery’s web site, www.markhachem.com and request an electronic invitation. The show is open through Saturday, April 11.
He will have over 20 paintings on display; many of large format, with sizes up to 8 feet, at the March showing.
The Mark Hachem Gallery is located at 988 Madison Avenue and 77th Street, New York. For more information about the gallery or Mr. Porras’s show, log on to their web site: www.markhachem.com or call 212-585-2900.
PHOTO: "Woman," oil on canvas, 6x6 feet (Portrait of a Warao girl the night before her wedding)
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PHOTO: "See Nothing," oil on canvas, 4x4 feet (Raises questions about society's tendency to ignore disappearing rainforest and its peoples)
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