Tania Alcala transforms brightly hued acrylic paint into large abstract artworks—one-of-a-kind jewel colored paintings that she meticulously coats with resin.
The Mexico City born artist is influenced in her work by the colors of her native country, and she uses these with creative abandon. She is enchanted by her country’s folklore and by its Mexican markets. And she grew up admiring the colorful, passionate artworks of Mexican muralists David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo, and Diego Rivera.
Alcala was classically trained in figurative art during her teenage and college years. She then received a Masters Degree in “Art and Consciousness and Transformative Arts” from John F, Kennedy University, Berkeley, CA. Attending classes at this school, with its emphasis on spirituality, she gradually segued toward abstraction in her paintings.
“Working this way is very freeing, “she says. As she embraced abstraction, she became captivated with artists Mark Rothko, Robert Rauschenberg, William De Kooning and Hans Hofmann. She looked to them for inspiration in her use of color, freedom of expression, shapes and forms.
Alcala approaches each of her paintings in a meditative state. Beginning with a large wood panel—which she uses as her canvas—she spreads various tubes of paint around her until, “the colors intuitively pull me in,” as she says. She applies wide swaths of paint to each panel, one color after another, maintaining the purity of the various hues, then blends the edges of the colors.
As she works on each abstract piece, she adds several layers of paint spontaneously, creating many shapes and forms, all the while working from her memories and emotions and especially from her passion for life.
She explores in each painting how space works and how color expands the space of the panel, often drawing the viewer’s eye to the edge of the painting and beyond. She considers the formal aspects of each artwork, particularly its individual shapes and sense of balance. The finishing touch on each painting is the thick resin that she applies; the coating acts like a mirror’s reflecting surface.
Alcala, who is also a professional pilot, creates paintings that reflect her strong inner life while evoking emotions and inspiration in her viewers.
Tania Alcala has been in numerous solo and group exhibitions including: RB Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla; Jorge Mendez Gallery, Palm Springs; Palm Springs Fine Art Fair; Art Palm Beach; Spectrum Miami; Art Context, NYC; Art South Hampton, NYC; Oceanside Museum of Art; Alexander Salazar Fine Art, San Diego; Galleria Wannabee, Milan, Italy and many more. She has won several awards including the “Juror’s Choice Award” from the San Diego Art Institute.
By Liz Goldner