Valeria Mancera

The window as reminder, 2020

Oil on canvas
28” x 34”

Planes of Perspective I, 2020

Oil on canvas
34” x 93”

Planes of Perspective II, 2020

Oil on canvas
34” x 48”

Cage, 2020

Oil on canvas 48” x 52”

Site unseen, 2019

Oil on canvas
48” x 68”

Arch Construction Study, 2019

Etching on Japanese paper
28” x 22”

Spiral Studies, 2019

Etching on Japanese paper
28” x 16”

Planes of Perspective, 2019

Graphite on paper
8.5” x 11”

Artist Statement

After leaving my country, Venezuela, I am confronted with the impossibility of return. My assembled drawing and paintings are the medium in which I explore how I store memories, how I remember sites, and how I visualize forgotten or imagined places as I navigate my experience of geographical migration and its aftereffects. The construction of memory is central to my inquiries, but equally vital are the sites we have imagined or forgotten and where images of these places are stored or housed. These memories of home expect to breathe through my paintings, I feel the need to recapture this site through my daydreams. Sense of place and displacement hold both the real and the imaginary and my practice depicts what this might look like. My work is not about seeing or inventing, but about revealing a version of my reality through the distortions of my memory.

My paintings and drawings begin with a systematic arrangement of lines and planes to create the initial impression of a site, and then I build up the surface with several layers of color and gestural applications of oil paint. I make my compositions with considered and deliberate attention to essential characteristics of architectural forms. I depict the tension between heavily stressed and decayed structures, each one with its own unique urban topography. My interest is answering how any arrangement of lines and planes can outline the idea of a site, a place, a landscape, or an interior that is unfamiliar or perhaps even impossible, and bring to the surface how it might exist in the imagination with realness and legitimacy.