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Cruel Cruel Art

Art as violence. Not a very pretty picture. But Bela Fidel wasn’t aspiring to beauty in the pieces that make up her new el Pedregal show, “The World at Ground Zero.” The artist, born and art-educated in Brazil, meant instead to depict the horror she and the rest of us find in the terrorist attacks that continue to rock our world.

In assemblage pieces made from shorn metal sheets and burnt canvas, she symbolizes the fire and devastation of the burned-down buildings and exploded buses and cars left in the wake of terrorist bombings across the globe. Rough-hewn stretched canvases depict what Fidel calls “the world’s open belly,” and the disorder and confusion left behind in ravaged villages are portrayed in the show’s title piece, done in blacks and greys and the bright red of fresh blood. The show, Fidel says, “is a labor of the heart. (I)t has no peace in it.”

July 1-31, 2010


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