The Art of Confinement
Isolation. Anxiety. Struggle. Hope.
The work explores our greatest fears—of losing oneself to the darkness—attempting to avoid it makes one even more conscious of it.
. . . for often the cause of dying is the fear of it.
Intensely thick impasto takes on a life of its own: impacted by a gravitational pull—consuming everything in its path with beautiful darkness—and creating a systematically planned outcome beyond the artist’s control.
The viscous coating adheres to the mirror, taking over and covering its intended purpose. Some slivers of the mirror’s intention remain visible beyond the impetus, which allows the viewer to literally find themselves within the work.
Lebrero allows the work to form naturally, restraining himself from altering its pre-determined path. He sees the process as a form of chaos theory, “states of dynamical systems whose apparently-random states of disorder and irregularities are often governed by deterministic laws that are highly sensitive to initial conditions.” The medium engages in a "fight or flight" response with the surface; often choosing the path of least resistance, sometimes partnering with its predecessors.
There’s action and immediacy to the process. Like an evil twin to fluffy clouds in the sky, one can see shapes and patterns forming, such as prison cell bars or a cancerous mass pulling everything down along with it. The texture is part horrific and part beautiful. It’s an "ugly beauty" which requires finesse; it is open to incident and has a stochastic "perfectly-imperfect" result. There is a permanence and inevitability to its blackness—and an attraction.
Lebrero thoroughly enjoys working with this primordial ooze and finds intense pleasure in handling, massaging and applying the malleable coating. “During times of intense anxiety and depression, I pictured it as this black sludge in my chest. It took over everything and did not allow me to see clearly. It covered everything in my sight with itself—it covered everything beautiful. I wished I could pull a stopper from my chest, from my solar plexus, and let out all the negativity, all the sludge, all the darkness. I felt that if it would come out, I would be clean, free and light again—I would be able to see all the beauty right before my eyes.”
There is a sense of hope that creating something external, something physically tangible from this inner feeling, will utilize its power for positive.