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For the Love of a Butterfly, essay by Kathleen King

For the Love of a Butterfly, essay by Kathleen King

As an artist who paints in a realistic manner, Tara Esperanza’s skill in manipulating form, color and light creates a very personal rendition of her favored subject matter, the diverse world of succulent plants. Recent paintings have focused on the margins or edges of the plants, drawing vivid lines and stunning gradations of brilliant color. The compositions are still close-ups, but backgrounds now vie with foreground in a push and pull of harmonious tones.

There is a precision in her techniques that beautifully represents what meets her eye. Her painted world functions in relation to her perception, constructed by acute acts of observation. But in a deeper sense, the paintings in her latest series, “For the Love of a Butterfly” explore the nature of reality, entering into a radical otherness that questions reality as we know it.

Tara experienced a significant personal loss—the unexpected passing of her mother—during the creation of the first painting in this series, “Feel the Love.” The passing of such an intimate, loving, guardian spirit into the unknown world affected Tara deeply, as one would imagine. It also seemed to have an effect on subsequent paintings as forms began to emerge that took on new meaning. She began to recognize hearts, and most significantly, butterflies in the shapes and patterns that she laid down with her colorful paints.

Tara associates butterflies with her mother, who loved them, and the symbolic form appeared again and again in the series as it progressed. This association brought her mother’s love in the form of a healing, creative energy back to the painter. For the viewer, these paintings might support our own healing journeys from the traumas and losses that we all experience. To watch a butterfly flutter in the air is to understand the illusory nature of the reality we experience on a daily basis. Somehow the gentle beauty of plants and the symbol of the butterfly can communicate the mystery of life and death as they connect us to separate realities shimmering around us.

 ~ Kathleen King, June 2024

Esperanza Tara Surrounded By Love 30x30 Acrylic On Canvas 2024
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Mercury 20 Gallery

475 25th Street, Oakland CA 94612
Tel: 510-701-4620

Gallery hours: Friday + Saturday: 12-5pm and by appt