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Tony Mercado

July 6 - August 3, 2024

Press Release

Emerging From the Depths

In Tony Mercado’s Eve, the artist explores life's beginnings and the nurturing forces that deliver us from the depths of existence. He depicts women in various states of emergence, their reflections shimmering and seemingly imparting obscure wisdom.

Mercado’s canvases are awash with muted hues that evoke the fluidity of water, the quintessential element of life. Water has the qualities of both comfort and unpredictability, representing both the womb and the mirror. Life originates in water, and life is maintained and rejuvenated by it. Thus, the artist channels this energy of rebirth, making visible the protective embrace of the feminine spirit as encapsulated in each brushstroke that depicts the moment of resurfacing—a delicate balance between submersion and ascent.

Women are painted with precision and gentility. Calm demeanors pervade though their faces are immersed in water, which shows how the mellifluous medium both bolsters and tests them. These figures are not just rising but awakening, embodying the resilience and nurturing strength inherent in all beginnings. Instead of drowning, they face their predicament with poise and grace. Their wavy reflections emphasize the ongoing dialogue between their past selves and the emerging present, creating a moving transformation narrative.

Mercado invites us to witness the intimate moments of resurrection and self-discovery, cleverly providing witty twists to his imagery. One of his women faces away, breaking the collection’s pattern of confronting the viewer directly or else giving a wary side-eye. In another piece, he turns the landscape upside down, reinforcing the dreamlike settings he builds for his muses. These paintings transcend simple realism, enabling each observer to make personal reciprocities with the flowing lines and glistening reflections. Though the warmth and care portrayed in these pieces are evident, they also allow for individual interpretation, inspiring viewers to fully engage in the pieces as they reflect on their own contemplative journeys.

As Mercado’s Eve offers a palpable manifestation of reassurance enfolding, the artist reminds us of the nurturing forces that guide us from the depths and lift us. As he lets his women rise through the surface, focused feminine energy guides us through the ebb and flow, the artist's adulation fueling the way his portrayals cast ripples that embed themselves in our consciousness.

Kaye O’Yek

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