Reflecting on Losses from the Winter Street Studios Fire, Erika Alonso Pops Up with New Paintings

Reflecting on Losses from the Winter Street Studios Fire, Erika Alonso Pops Up with New Paintings

Alonso, inset, and her acrylic-on-canvas painting 'Birds'

BASED IN HOUSTON, Cuban-American painter Erika Alonso is a self-taught, self-described “painterly painter,” with a playful and very idiosyncratic take on abstract expressionism, mark making, and automatism, where the artist works quickly and intuitively, relying upon the subconscious to guide the artistic process. Her work can be found in numerous private collections across the United States and Europe, including that of beloved Houston collector and art fanatic Lester Marks. On Friday, Sept 8., from 7-9pm at Lanecia Rouse Tinsley Gallery, Alise Art Group's Art House presents Alonso’s solo exhibition Birds Are People Too (And Other Thoughts . . . ).

It’s a new collection of attractive black and white acrylic paintings, filled with squiggly lines and mysterious shapes that will indeed remind the viewer of birds and the natural world, as well as the jumpy, interior life of an artist blessed and cursed with racing thoughts. Alonso’s paintings aren’t exactly sedate, but they don’t signal danger.

Created in the months after the tragic and senseless Winter Street Studios fire bombing, which destroyed Alonso’s studio and several of her artworks, Birds Are People Too is a testament to Alonso’s resiliency, and the innate ability of artists to bounce back even after unimaginable loss. (Nearly 100 artists were impacted by the fire.)

“These experiences led me back to where I started as an artist: the simplicity and contrast of black and white,” says Alonso in a statement on her Instagram feed. “What color once concealed is now displayed in plain sight — the figures, birds, and creatures in my work step forward, confronting you in all their expressiveness.”

This exhibit is a special, one-night-only “pop-up” experience, a unique model presented by AAG.

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