Adaptation, experimentation, and evolution are all crucial concepts within Heidi Brandow’s practice, which usually takes the form of layers of paint, drawing, and paper on canvas, but also includes a social practice in her photography projects.
New Mexico Artists to Know Now
Francoise Barnes’s titles give the viewer a quick point of entry to her abstract, mixed-media paintings on canvas, panel, or paper.
Mira Burack’s artwork is a space of rest, contemplation, and the contemplation of rest. Her wall-sized collages of photos of rumpled bedclothes enlarge the space where sleep takes place and, in doing so, enlarge a viewer’s attention to sleep and its landscape.
Vincent Campos injects a sense of whimsy and strangeness into a form that is often serious and pious. Campos’s retablos stick to this script, representing saints and other Catholic imagery, but his figures have odd or humorous details: a caricatured face, a bag of Wonder Bread.
Charming plushy animals walk the razor’s edge between life and lifelessness in Vanessa Gonzalez’s paintings. Each creature—a sloth, a jackalope, a flock of birds—has its limbs wrenched from its tiny body, with threads and fiberfill stuffing poking out of wounds.
Dorothy Melander-Dayton is an interdisciplinary artist working at the nexus of performance, theater, and installation, as well as works on paper and sculpture. The artist’s process is grounded in research into various subjects which span artistic influences, texts, material research, and experimentation.
In Rosemary Meza-DesPlas’s work, she renders female figures by hand-stitching her own hair into various surfaces. Some of these figures are anguished, some contorted, some vulnerable—each is rendered in delicate, tremulous lines that speak to the traditionally feminine realm of textiles.
Martín Wannam’s photos are an explosion of glitter and color, with an underlying hint of darkness. His work is unabashedly queer but operates in response to a repressive heteronormative society encrypted by religious imagery.
Heather Gallegos-Rex’s tapestries are strikingly minimal in their design, often incorporating only two or three colors. She leans toward spare geometric shapes but does not shy away from landscapes and increasingly layered compositions.
Jennifer Vasher’s installations and sculptures evoke the desire for purity and the environmentally toxic consumer culture of cleanliness. Lotion bottles, aspirin, and other pharmaceuticals appear as decorative art objects within the domestic landscapes of her installations.
When we first dreamed up the Artists Issue, we thought of it as a way to share—with New Mexico and beyond—a sample of the most vibrant and engaged artists working in New Mexico right now. Artists whose work deserves sustained attention, whether or not you’ve ever heard of them before.