Work of renowned Phoenix artist featured at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum | Phoenix New Times


Artist Bill Dambrova's latest exhibition mesmerizes viewers in Mesa

See his large, colorful, abstract paintings at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum for free through August 6.
Bill Dambrova, Bound to Form and Tethered to a Flock, 2021, mixed media on canvas, 80 x 108 inches.
Bill Dambrova, Bound to Form and Tethered to a Flock, 2021, mixed media on canvas, 80 x 108 inches. Courtesy of Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
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Bill Dambrova’s current exhibition, "Poke a Hole in the World," opened in March and runs through August 6 at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.

In the show, the artist has woven together personal explorations of mental and physical landscapes and brought them to life in the 10 large-scale artworks that comprise the show. It’s certainly not the first time he has taken viewers on a heady trip.

In previous exhibitions such as "Energy Eaters," human biology was at the forefront of his colorful abstractions. Bold colors toured through internal systems, making them prominent and undeniable. In a world where much emphasis is placed on the exterior, Dambrova’s takes on biological components created reminders of the importance of self-reflection regarding the entire being and the benefits of melding the inner and outer realms for a more powerful personal evolution.

The artist highlights this evolution by taking a different route with these pieces. Leaving some of that biology behind, this journey takes the mind and turns it inside out, putting its questions and findings on the table.

Dambrova has a penchant for spiritual and philosophical quests, which ride alongside a continuous examination of human history and behavior, art history, our relationship with the natural world and that which is not easily seen or tangible. That swirl of curiosity is what you get here, in work that makes you wonder what’s in your own mind as much as you are soaking up what is in his.

With "Poke a Hole in the World," Dambrova isn’t through with those bold colors or the depth and motion each piece has to offer but make no mistake, growth and evolution are evident, which is part of what makes the exhibition compelling.

Plenty of times, an artist takes a new twist or turn, and sure, it’s intriguing and acceptable, but when you can both see and feel the sincerity, it does ramp up the experience.

His talent matches the messages skillfully – pieces move easily from sharp edges to rounded florals. It’s a visual rollercoaster ride as your eyes take a jerky and chaotic ride while still finding a natural way to flow around the canvas to soak up the intricacies.

“The First Visitation Is Free” is one of the best examples of opposing shapes and structures giving pandemonium perspective. The title alone inspires so many questions that it can’t help but feel like the painting reflects the questions it raises. It becomes a meta experience when you personalize this journey that began in the artist’s mind by going on your own trip.

The color choices in this piece are also refreshing in that they are so lush and rich. Deep blues, vibrant purples, red, yellow and black coexist in a way that each can puff out its respective chest and have a firm presence.

It’s especially noteworthy because, in this exhibition, Dambrova created a cohesive body of work that doesn’t rely on reusing color schemes to drive home the continuity. Each piece of work’s aura feels like it was born from respect.

“I Come From Space Through a Hole in the Sky” is a nice clash of styles, from more detailed sections to twisty streaks and blocky shapes that almost look like the artist discovered and then subsequently tagged his own artwork. The sky blue corner, which looks to be hiding beneath all but the corner where it seems to be peeking through, maintains the show’s aspect of traveling through various realms.

As much as "Poke a Hole in the World" is a garden for existential and metaphysical questions, it also comes with a spirit of fun. Dambrova knows that in all the layers that exist to explore and examine, there’s a sprinkle of absurdity in the mysterious mix, and you sense that is part of what helps him stay passionate about his tenacity to traverse what’s temporal and beyond.

"Poke a Hole in the World" runs through August 6 at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. Admission is free.
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