Armando Lerma of the “Date Farmers” collective, invites us yet again into other worlds. His show, titled “Rio Xanta” includes glimpses of colorful scenes that encapsulate unique dimensions, drawing us into their timelessness. Inspired by hand-painted signs, commonly associated with the mundane, Lerma elevates their functionality to a place of intrigue. His appropriation of old signage mixed in with original works bends space and time, weaving the past with the present, and creating a multi-dimensional reflection of commercialized brands, painted over and drowned out by new colors and expressions.
Ultimately, the playful and colorful worlds on display seem to evoke an attempt at escapism. The imperfect fantastical images of exotic animals and seductive dancers, only almost take the viewer away from the trappings of reality. In their modest attempts at commercial functionality, the flawed signage speak to the inescapable human deficiency at play. Despite our hopes, there’s no escaping a mild disappointment with man’s present relationship to nature; exoticizing its creatures and exploiting the natural flow of the universe’s inherent balance.
Yet despite their obvious imperfections, the placement of works invites the viewer on a journey into the artists’ sentiment and offers an intimate look into his delicate approach to a harsh and dark world. At closer glance, there is a belief that although the imbalance between man and nature produces so much detachment, that there exists beyond space and time an inherent connection to the waters of an ancient balance--by which the artist opens himself, and invites the viewer to wade. It is a balance uninterrupted by an ancestral connection, that flows through despite all obstacles, offering more than escape but a redemption.