Hearts and Bones
Hearts and Bones: a solo exhibition by Mandy Cano Villalobos
Hearts and Bones navigates the space between desire and futility. A Paul Simon song that marks my childhood becomes the reference point for my work. I examine lost relationships, shifting identities and blurred memory, a longing for a home that only exists in my longing.
The Sisyphus in Blue drawings take their title from the Greek myth of Sisyphus, a man cursed by the gods to daily roll a boulder up a mountain. At the end of each day the rock teeters and plummets to the bottom of the mountain, and Sisyphus must repeat his labor the next morning, for all of eternity. Using my divorced parents’ wedding rings as a means of measurement, I repetitively mark layer circle upon circle. I employ ultramarine blue, a pigment once derived from the rare lapis lazuli stone, and often used to depict heaven in Medieval and ancient Middle Eastern manuscripts. Now ultramarine is only available as a mass produced imitation pigment. In contrast to its precious origin, the pigment’s now commonplace value emphasizes human desires for what is pure and authentic, and our consequent failure to fulfill those desires.
Maggie Nelson’s Bluets line the wall, echoing the sentiment, loss and unclarity present in the Sisyphus drawings. Quote upon quote, Nelson’s fragmented words reappear and disappear: “…About color and pain… the blue of skim milk… We don’t get to choose whom or what we love, I want to say…”
I include a dead tree from my home. It stood in our front yard for two years with no leaves. When we dug it up, the roots had withered to nothing, but it was still a beautiful tree.
Thinking back to the season before
Looking back through the cracks in the door
Two people were married
The act was outrageous
The bride was contagious
She burned like a bride