Introspection, the ability to ponder on life's great mysteries, has always been inherent in Arturo Sanchez's work. Mirrors, often used as literary devices for self-reflection, have become his signature. Integrated into his canvases, their reflective surfaces are reminders of the human condition and the existential questions that have besieged philosophers for millennia.
Contemplation is a layered piece that plays on mirror images, negatives, and inversions. Rendered in reversed black-and-white, a young woman- one hand tentatively raised, eyes locked in a faraway gaze-sits beside her doppelganger. Their billowing black skirts provide inky solace for a crow transfixed by a branch, both made from sand-blasted mirrors.
The crow has played prominent roles in various mythologies. In Contemplation, the blackbird is a totem for the eternal Sleep that humankind will succumb to-even the innocent girl who sits quietly and thinks of her future.
Inside the reflective silhouettes of both crow and branch, Sanchez has collaged images depicting the three stages of life, as he enumerates: "budding, blooming, and deterioration." To create these collages, he peels away the painted backing of the mirrors, inserts his collaged cutouts and seals them in with lacquer. The effect is haunting: worlds are trapped and locked away behind the looking glass.