JOEY RAMONE is proud to present I'm Going to Keep Looking at You, the first solo exhibition in the gallery by Rotterdam based artist Shertise Solano (1982). The exhibition opens on Saturday 12th of December at 14.00 – 18.00 hrs and runs until the 12th of February 2021.
“My art is meant to activate the truth already present inside of the viewer. That’s why the eyes in my work are looking straight back. I see you, I know you, I am you”. 
Shertise Solano’s approach is very introspective. The self becomes the starting point for artistic expression. As you enter the exhibition, you are surrounded by crawling, dancing figures and spirits. Wherever you go, you cannot escape the eyes that are looking at you. It is impossible to hide from their gaze, as much as it is impossible to run from yourself.
In her work Shertise uses a method from the Jacques Lecoq Neutral Mask training she received in theatre school: she lets her physical memory guide her working process, allowing her to tap into her grandmother’s mystical stories, and her family’s told and untold history through the ages.
Solano’s visual world is an oxymoron. It is painfully sincere and open, yet not revealing much to your face, raw and mysterious, uplifting, scary, and beautiful. Building on bright, contrasting colors and immediately recognizable imagery, Solano creates works that evoke equally contrasting emotions and associations. To fully grasp its scope, one has to look within themselves. Shertise Solano builds an ever transforming world full of ecstatic black figures in undulating motion; a world without time or place, beginning or end, which has been with her since childhood, when her grandmother in Curacao told her stories of spirits and magic.
Connecting her heritage to the context in which she grew up, Solano reclaims symbolic power over the figurative storytelling of the African-rooted ancestor culture, defying decades of cultural appropriation. Her work thus frees the imagery from the Western narrative and Modernist objectification. Connected with Hoodoo culture, her work does not engage in the intellectualization that is so dominant in contemporary Western art. Instead, she is developing a new visual language that works on a physical level, to convey truths in the history of families, bodies, and DNA, that have always remained hidden.
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