David B. Smith Gallery is proud to present Living Room by Sierra Montoya Barela, a solo exhibition in the gallery’s project room.
In her latest body of work, Montoya Barela delves into questions of perspective, traditional representation, still life, and symbolism, as pertaining to painting. Articulated in four substantial works, impossible spaces where laws of physical matter are broken and reconstructed yield familiar yet strange results. In these dreamlike spaces, Montoya Barela juxtaposes detailed textures with hard lines, intentionally creating visual rifts in her interior scenes. Living Room offers a viewing experience that never reaches a finite conclusion, but rather turns over and back on itself as constructed perspective lures the eye between undulating floorboards and the silent hands of ticking clocks.
Within her domestic interiors, resting on countertops or shifting between wooden legs, Montoya Barela’s scenes are rife with classic symbols present throughout Western art history, as well as those with unique personal meaning. Often painting from digital drawings and collages she creates prior, her playful take on still life is a nod to convention while looking decidedly forward. With the occasional figure breezing by before they’re identified or back corner that contorts into foreground, Living Room cleverly asks more questions than it answers. Embracing her impossible, invented spaces, Montoya Barela remarks, “they feel like places I’d see myself in.”