The Drawers - Jesus Mora    Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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'Alien' has the overriding association of 'strange' because we link the word to outer space but it is also applied to foreigners who are not yet a subject of the land in which they are occupying. A method of dealing with alienation is to live with mementos from the homeland. To bring signification of the other culture into the framework of the new land not only comforts the individual but also displays the wealth of his heritage. Jesus Mora's work is rich with references to Mexico. They are also projections onto paper of alien universes, free floating without the orientation of gravity yet bejeweled with historical symbols. When placed in the context of the watercolor space, patterns taken from Mayan temples look like a code from another planet and seem to reinforce the rumors that the ancient civilization came from outer space. The cosmic tales of an ancient invasion that float like rumors around our sci-fi awareness come alive in Mora's work.

A similar free association comes from Jesus Mora's use of corn silk. Like a super fine brush, the silk leaves marks that appear to be tunnels made by a burrower. They resemble inscribed Mayan and Aztec gold. Made from maize they form mazes and the possibility that the ancient alphabet might have been born from a similar happenstance seems a possibility.

Despite the invitation to fantasize, the work is grounded. Jesus Mora's water color scrolls have the atmospheric softness of a Chinese brush painting. On top of this, Jesus records his transplanted memories of other places. The pencil and ink marks attach themselves to the floating gelatinous masses as if they are reproducing in ethereal space. They sprout. They peak out at us. The clouds of gentle tonalities seem to part and small beings are disturbed, caught by a fleeting glimpse like a microscopic revelation.

It is difficult to encapsulate effervescence. Jesus Mora's art, like a fizzy drink delivered a little warm and then shaken with the excitement of opening, broadcasts sparkles.

Copyright 2006,  Headbones Gallery, The Drawers