Ana De Obregoso spends most of her time at the intersection of the subconscious and human interaction, producing artwork that illustrates the subtler battles in life.
Take for example “Intra,” a mixed-medium collection from 2002. Profile shots of individuals face off against themselves, exchanging joy, derision or hostility across a white divide. There are no words, but a smattering of objects depicting the nature of the internal conversation — nails shot at feathers or stones colliding — an exploration of missed and mixed communication, with barbs and verbal kisses inevitably getting lost in the ether.
It’s in this split-self that De Obregoso finds her creative muse. Her work illustrates we’re much more than the sum of our parts, yet dissecting those pieces gives us a better understanding of the whole.
But most importantly, never forget you’re in control.
“At the end, we have the power to create reactions in life,” De Obregoso said at a press preview of the exhibition. “In that way, I think we are all little gods.”
Communication, ambition, values, perception — they’re all game in De Obregoso’s work, which will be exhibited in Flushing’s Crossing Art gallery as “Paralleling Narratives” until Feb. 13.
The collection is made up of two visual mediums, photography and video, in a selection of works that span the last decade. “Intra,” for example, includes a video montage of mouths housing objects meant to symbolize various modes of communication. Your own interpretation of a scorpion resting on a tongue versus a butterfly is part of the experience. But it all starts in De Obregoso’s head.
“It starts at how I perceive the world,” she said. That world was limited to De Obregoso’s mind a decade ago. It has since grown, as shown by the ambitious series, “Particles.”
The work features “Paradise,” a Lima, Peru cemetery with tombs painted in vibrant shades of blue and green. The grainy sequence of photos jumps to a fuller picture, showing a village built on a hillside behind the cemetery, in a drab brown. De Obregoso flourishes in these bits of visual trickery, where limited perception leads to a revelation. In the case of “Particles,” the dissection of perspective also serves as a lesson in the vivacity of the living.
A separate series in “Particles” shows a quaint and unassuming home that is actually part of the favelas, Sao Paolo, Brazil’s notorious slums.
All is not as it seems in some De Obregoso’s work. And that’s the point. But your mind’s eye and inner voice make the meaning of her work completely your own.
“I don’t have the truth,” De Obregos said. “This is just the way I’m perceiving it.”
When: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Crossing Art, 136-17 39 Ave., Flushing