Guerra Gallery in Brooklyn Plays with Science to Make Trippy Paintings


Maddie Nicolas

The local arts community gathered on Friday evening at The BogArt in Bushwick to welcome Art Guerra’s newly exhibited colorful mixed media paintings.

Lily Dolin, Staff Writer

The BogArt, an exhibition space located in Bushwick, is just one of many exceptional galleries in Brooklyn that houses diverse and innovative collections. Towards the back of the building, nestled between a “Dungeons and Dragons” fine art collection and a still life exhibit is the Anthony Philip Fine Art Gallery. Their featured exhibit this month — “Art Guerra: Recent Works” — is a collection of colorful and complex multimedia paintings by painter Art Guerra.

The gallery space is small and narrow, but the artwork is bold. There are around 10 pieces featured in the exhibit, varying in size and color. Each piece is structurally similar, created by layering glass beads, rubber bits and foil onto canvases and then painting over them. Placing the materials on top of one another gives each piece a unique texture, forming a gallery of fun, playful paintings. One of the largest and most striking pieces in the collection is “Epsilon Blue.” The large blue canvas serves as the backdrop for hundreds of small glass beads of varying shapes, sizes and colors. The bright blues are offset by bursts of colorful red and purple beads, whose composite colors add lively dimension.

While the collection is an impressive showcase of multimedia art, it is much more than a collage exhibit. “Art Guerra: Recent Works” is an exploration of light in art and how pigments change under various lights. The opaque and transparent glass beads scattered across each canvas not only provide texture and depth, but also serve to reflect and interact with light. When viewers look at a piece from one angle, light bounces off of certain beads, illuminating different parts of the canvas. However, when the viewer changes position, the reflections of light change on the canvas, creating new areas of light and dark. Each piece then becomes interactive, changing in relation to the viewer’s perspective.

Guerra makes his own paint using innovative chemical technology. He then uses his paint to color in the canvas, rubber bits, foil pieces and individual glass beads. Guerra’s choice to make his own paint is a conscious one. This process allows for Guerra to create his own colors that are unique to him and his personality. This makes for artwork with bright colors that may be unfamiliar to most viewers.

“If you make your own paint, it’s up to you to screw it up,” Guerra said. “And then it takes on your personality, whereas if you buy tube paint and squeeze it, everyone has that type of paint. It’s boring.”

Artists have played with light and color for centuries. “Art Guerra: Recent Art Works” continues this tradition by exploring the complexities of these two artistic elements in a captivating way. This show is a must-see, and is definitely worth the trip to Brooklyn.

“Art Guerra: Recent Works” runs from Feb. 5-March 13.

Email Lily Dolin at [email protected].