Jumping into an 'open studio' session at Lauren Mantecón’s studio in Santa Fe involves more than art, and includes some wine, à la liquid courage, to delve into your emotions, and some artisanal chocolate to boost your senses. Lauren guides you through the two hour session and helps you to present your feelings on paper, and create a masterpiece that is unique from a variety of mediums including paint, chalk, pencil, and pastels. Just when you think you are done, she guides you through further exploratory, and continually creates an environment where you are safe to experiment with colors, shapes, feelings, and more. . .
Lauren Mantecón’s abstract paintings embody the artist’s lifelong fascination with the inexplicable mysteries of life. Using a visual syntax of orbs, ovals and dense, translucent layers of paint, the artist explores dreamlike scenes, glimpses of the ethereal and portals between worlds. Through movement, light and form, Mantecón’s complex surfaces evoke a contemplative energy, drawing viewers into their depth and story.
“Paint for me transcends the material world—color, non-color, ambiguous shapes,
veils—all serve as a visual dialogue between what cannot be seen but can be felt.
They are the crossing points between earth and spirit. I work to capture the ethereal, to find the intelligence in aesthetic beauty. My influences include fragments of dreams, visions and the complexity of an omnipresent force I crave to bring to form.
Over twenty-five years of painting I have risked, deconstructed, shuffled, veiled, denied, wrestled, reckoned with and resurrected surface over and over again. It’s to date my longest standing relationship and I hold deep reverence to the process. I search out, hold space and wait for the in between places–the relational glimpses of ephemeral frequencies that sometimes imagine their way through me. Mutating form and color into boundaries and tension points is what informs the process.
Sometimes the paintings happen quickly, the initial spark of a gesture and completed narration found in playful juxtaposition of textures and minimal hues of contrast. But most often, I labor. Paintings built up over time. Layers of paint on top of paint, hiding and obscuring–a palimpsest of surface effaced with traces of beginnings at the end. These hold potent energy for me."
— LAUREN MANTECÓN