Throughout this tumultuous year, a silver lining of sorts has remained. Many artists have been able to channel previously unimaginable feelings into stirring new works, helping members of society identify and process the gravity of 2020. Among them is Cara Barer, a Houston-based photographer who has unveiled a series of new pieces called Isolation at Nicole Longnecker Gallery in the Heights.
'Euphoria' by Cara Barer
Barer is known for dyeing and sculpting outdated books — reference manuals, encyclopedias — into artful subjects for her photography. For the new series, she shifted her focus. Barer selected raw portraits she snapped during the Houston Marathon, specifically at a location where it is said the runners often “hit the wall." Their muscles start to feel like concrete, and their minds begin to wander — it requires a tremendous amount of grit and dedication to finish the race. To these photos, Barer added an abstracted veil of encaustic wax, which is heated and pigmented beeswax. The close-ups of faces exhibiting a range of emotions — ones many have felt on a deep level throughout the pandemic. The pieces, with names such as “Collective Unconscious" and “Separation Anxiety," range in size from 24-by-24-inches up to 48-by-36. “The portraits became my companions during isolation," says the artist. “Society's marathon is not over, but I have hope that we are nearing the finish line."
The show is available through the gallery's online viewing room, as well as by appointment.
AT TOP: Collective Unconscious by Cara Barer