A new exhibition filled with unique portraits by Batesville-based artist Eliseo Casiano will open Aug. 4 at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas.
ASC will host a free, drop-in reception from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 4 to celebrate the opening of Color, Faces, People. The show will be on view in the William H. Kennedy Jr. Gallery through through Oct. 22.
The exhibition is sponsored by the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas Endowment Fund. MK Distributors and Art Krewe are sponsoring the reception, according to a news release.
Color, Faces, People features 27 pieces of art, including framed drawings, monochrome paintings on canvas, and paintings on unstretched canvas.
“The body of work pulls from the language of painting and personal narrative,” according to the release. “Casiano uses his interest in color, light, and pattern to create a spectrum of potentialities that reflect a Mexican-American aesthetic centered on his lived experience.” Casiano’s exhibition features a variety of stylized and realistic portraits.
“I reconfigure family photographs and oral histories into heavily saturated and adorned paintings with free associations and indefinite resolution,” Casiano said. “I hope my formal elements draw viewers in to make their own connections. Whether linked to family, identity, or self-reflection, I hope they appreciate the representations I chose to paint.” Casiano’s practice initially began by working from family photographs as a way to unpack and illustrate narratives from the past.
“Some of the relatives in my paintings passed away before I was born. I feel closer to them by the time I finish a portrait, maybe from looking at their faces for so long. I begin to imagine the way they sound, the way they laugh or carry a story,” Casiano said.
The monochrome paintings, from his Spectrum Series, feature friends and families from recent visits or conversations.
“This series is less inspired by race/identity, and more related to connectivity,” Casiano said. “Living subjects are different, definitely less heavy. I often think about where they are, what they’re doing, what they’re eating tonight.” Color, Faces, People invites the viewer into a world beyond traditional portraiture, said Rachel Miller, ASC executive director and interim curator.
“In his striking depictions of friends and family, Casiano uses overlays of saturated colors to explore his subjects’ moods and identities,” Miller said. “This dramatic use of color abstracts the images, encouraging contemplation. Viewers may wonder: what are these people feeling or doing? How does color affect our interpretations?” Casiano serves as gallery manager at the Batesville Area Arts Council and is an adjunct instructor in painting and drawing at Lyon College.
A native of Clinton, Okla., Casiano earned his Bachelor in Fine Arts degree in painting from East Central University at Ada, Okla., and his Master in Fine Arts degree from Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge.
His paintings have been shown widely across the United States, including at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art at New Orleans, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and the Vermont Studio Center.
For details about the exhibition, visit asc701.org. For details about Casiano, visit eliseocasiano.com.