Chelsea Creek Studio

Zachary Delacruz

The artist’s hard-won perspective is visible in all her canvases. “The Battle of the Sexes” is better understood if we realize that fishes are representative of feminity and bananas of masculinity. Here, not only are both elements represented, they are shown in completely contrasting ways: The fish is large, brightly colored and lit from above, while the fruits are smaller, almost sepia-toned and lit from the viewer’s perspective. And yet, for all their differences, they are intimately connected. Indeed, the fish’s head disappears, but not out of the frame — rather, it is hidden behind the ‘male’ side of the picture. The bananas that are touched by the fish have changed color — a witty celebration of how men and women differ, and what they bring to one another.
“Galloping to Reality” also displays the hallmark divided canvas. In this case, there is less color contrast, but the ‘unreal’ side is painted in dreamy soft focus while ‘reality’ is harder, colder, but vivid with detail. Again, while the two halves are sharply differentiated, there are areas of overlap — some sharp detail in the horse’s mane, and soft reds in the background on the left pull the two parts into one another, demonstrating that dreaming and cold facts are both essential components of our lives.
Finally, “Venus” pays homage to the famous Botticelli painting. What is literal flesh and blood in the original becomes the essential Vietnamese elements of earth, air, water and fire in Do’s version. Rather than blowing in from the sea, as Western mythology has it, she changes from seductress to nurturer, provider of all that is required to sustain life. Thus we are presented with the long view, the famous patience and resolve evident in Vietnamese society, which is less concerned with procreation and more interested in how to carry on afterwards.
Male and female. Dreams and achievements. Birth and death. When shined through the brilliant prism of Zachary Delacruz’s artwork, the complexity of our existence is cause for celebration.

Zachary Delacruz
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