Decorative dresses covered with beads and 'celebratory skins' as a symbol of transformation. That of the works of the artist Raúl De Nieves that inhabit - and transform - the sumptuous spaces of A Palazzo Gallery in Brescia

The bright and opulent rooms of A Palazzo Gallery in  Brescia release the magical and ancestral power of accumulating new energy that characterizes Raúl De Nieves . Entitled Betwixt the Hands of Time, the exhibition, until 7 May 2022, revolves around a moment of central importance for the evolution of the creative practice of Mexican artist based in Brooklyn, that key moment in life that occurs in the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Cultural heritage, family traditions and motherhood

Unfolding within the constant dialogue between memory of the past and the perception of the present, the exhibition touches on a variety of recurring themes in the artist’s practice and poetics: from the celebration of motherhood and the connection to his cultural heritage to the awareness of becoming an adult which, for the artist, coincides with the willingness and commitment to respect the family traditions we have assimilated during our countless moments of learning and exchange.

‘Celebratory skins’, self-adornment and metamorphosis

The theme of the advent of adulthood recurs in what the artist calls ‘celebratory skins’: the figures that inhabit the gallery spaces as unknown creatures that only vaguely resemble human features. These wearable costumes speak to us of self-adornment: they are staged as a symbol of transformation, having that magical power to transform us into someone else, to make us feel older and more mature.

Connecting the fantastic to reality

Allowing us to play a new role, these ornamental garments transport us into the dimension of the fantastic and attempt to make real what we often dream of being like. It is then up to us to let the dream connect with reality.

The strong bond with the mother in the hand-sewn dresses

Alongside the beaded costumes, the knitted dresses testify to the strong emotional bond the artist has with his mother. Having learned to knit from her, with these works the artist is the spokesperson of the common and sincere desire to celebrate motherhood, and at the same time declares the evolution of their own relationship, highlighting how he can now dress the role of the educating mother, and how by virtue of the experiences lived and adulthood, he can enjoy a mutual exchange of teachings.

Panels of colored glass: fragility is on show

Pierced by blades of light, as in a majestic and sacred cathedral, large panels (all ' appearance) of glass colored, made by the artist with deliberately 'poor materials' like plastic films, they dominate the center of the central hall of A Palazzo Gallery as symbols of inner strength. Representing the personal vulnerability shown to others, these works encourage us to show fragility, the most intimate and emotional part of ourselves.

Light and darkness, suffering and conquest

By showing the mutation of the decorations, the panels also speak of time and ephemeral: images come alive when they are crossed by the light and then freezes in the darkness. In their vibrant expressiveness, the works also refer to the beauty of creation and the power of passion, as well as to the dichotomy between struggle and victory, between suffering and conquest.

Reconnenction and transmutation

Although separate and imbued with their own independent energetic force, The two installations Celebration (mother) and The Gift (child), live in the constant tension - magical and ancestral - of reconnecting and uniting - turning - in a new form.