The first known opening of an art gallery in Puerto Rico in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic took place Tuesday at Space in Guaynabo's San Patricio Plaza with the mosaic exhibition titled 'Cosmogenesis,' by Greek artist Mersyni Papamichali.
The gallery allows up to three visitors for half an hour with the curator and director. Visitors must be wearing face masks and are hand sanitizers available, upholding anti-coronavirus protocols while providing a space for art lovers.
Papamichali studied mosaic, painting, photography, and art conservation and history in her native Greece, as well as in New York City. She worked on several archaeological excavations from which she was inspired to build the mosaics.
It is the Puerto Rican Caribbean, however, that appears in this contemporary work where science and religion merge. Her original paradise is Puerto Rico, from where she draws inspiration to make a plastic narrative of creation. In fact, the gallery and its circular shape constitute a walk to get closer to the works and follow a chronology of the creation of humanity.
"The 16 pieces are based on the creation of the universe according to Judeo-Christian science and beliefs of this same origin. This is worked in a contemporary style, where she joins the pieces with the shapes of atoms, captured from microscopic and telescopic photos bringing her art to the 21st century. She works the mosaic on different supports such as glass, wood, and cement," said Manuel Vélez, the gallery's director.
Cosmogénesis is "an installation in the form of a journey through time, as God forged creation. It repeats in each instance the gear of the time clock around the gallery as if it were its macrocosm," Vélez told THE WEEKLY JOURNAL.
He noted that scientific theory stipulates that the beginning of everything is the Big Bang, found at the entrance of the gallery. The plastic artist is captivated by the Puerto Rican archipelago, which she considers a colorful and splendid paradise, just like the biblical Garden of Eden.
"In Cosmogénesis, Papamichali establishes a reflective analysis that draws conclusions about the beginning and apocalyptic end of the Christian era, the cycle of the evolution of the cosmos, and the history of humanity as a warning to the global chaos that we live in today. The creator carries the interpretation of her evolution as the Omega Point of final unity with a pre-existing God in a highly symbolic language," Vázquez explained.
The director said that there are two atypical pieces that are Jesus, with a crown of thorns, and another one of olive trees, which aims to represent Christianity before and after Christ. The other is the sculpture Apocalypse, which has the shape of a horse and where there are four equines that represent The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and it goes back to the Big Bang of the initial route.
Cosmogénesis will remain open to the public until late July at the gallery's schedule: Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.