“In A New Light” Carmen Brias art exhibit title that bares her Filipino soul in Balikbayan exhibit

Carmen Brias unveils her latest works in painting and sculpture in an exhibit titled “In A New Light” at Altro Mondo, Greenbelt 5, Makati City. “In A New Light” will feature the Madrileña’s latest works in painting and sculpture, and focuses on the intimate relationship between the two countries (Spain and Philippines) from the artist’s unique perspective.

Brias was born in Manila and lived here until her teenage years before her family moved to Madrid, where her mother, distinguished portraitist and Presidential Medal of Merit for Art and Culture Awardee Betsy Westendorp founded a painting school.

“As an artist, my soul is Filipino. Most of the inspiration for my art comes from my childhood in Manila,” said Brias.

“Being close to nature and the animal world growing up, I became sensitive to nature’s vibrations, of what is “unseen”, as in The Little Prince, “What is essential is invisible to the eye.” I feel that the Philippines is placed strategically in a certain part of the world where energy vibrates in a different way; everything is always moving.”

Carmen Brias - Seal
Since her last Philippine exhibit in 2009 with Westendorp, Brias has been churning works and exhibiting them at various shows in Madrid including a joint exhibit with sculptor Eduardo Mazariegos at the Centro Cultural de Aravaca in 2012 and a group show with the Association for Sculptors and Painters at the Vaguada Cultural Center. 

Carmen Brias - Independant Flowers. 101.5 x 83.5 cm, Mixed    media, Date 2014
Brias comes from a family of artists and was also trained in the arts, having a diploma in Painting Restoration from the University of Madrid. The ‘Diccionario de Pintores y Escultores Españoles’ (Dictionary of Spanish Painters) describes Brias’s style as “a fantastic ingenuism with a surrealistic inclination, an exuberance of color using firm drawing to recreate the reality that surrounds us.” In her latest exhibit, Brias will introduce new materials in her works including plastic, pigments, acrylics, and a synthetic resin to make the finished work look transparent and shiny. 

Carmen Brias - Virgin and child in the garden. 61 x 46 cm,    Oil on canvas and pasted tela, Date 2013
Brias was influenced by the following artists, Miquel Barcelo he is outstanding for his creation of a new and unique personal style. His inspiration and works take guts!  The Flemish painters like Van der Weiden at the Prado, their works are perfect. Brias also love Rousseau, Van Gogh, the Impressionists, Fernando Zobel’s paintings and of course, she admires Betsy Westendorp, who fortunately happens to be her mother.

Carmen Brias with mother, Betsy Westendorp
“Sometimes I add elements in the painting through pasting but lately, I must confess, I am becoming more of a ‘purist’; the less addition, the better. As artists, we sometimes have a destructive attitude towards art, and even to ourselves, which can manifest in “destroying” work that is already finished by adding unnecessary elements,” explained the artist.
“Each one of my paintings is different, so each work is always new. Although they say that every artist always ends up doing the same painting, I can’t relate to that. I suppose what you can expect from my new works is more experience and humanity,” said Brias.

Carmen Brias - Lucky in Tangerine Garden. 95 x 75.5 cm,    Mixed media, Date 2013

Brias works previously exhibited.

1979: Group Show at the Centro Cultural de la Villa de Madrid.
1985: Group Show of Paintings Dedicated to the Animal World in Caja Madrid.
1992: Individual Exhibit with Filipino Furniture in Sotogrande.
1993: Group Show in Taller Arte G in Madrid.
1994: Group Show in Flecha 94, Madrid.
1995: Group Show of Mini Paintings at the Association for Sculptors and Painters in Madrid.
1995: Group Show of Filipino Painters in Spain at the Casa de America in Madrid.
1998: Solo Show at the Ayala Museum in Manila.
1998: Solo Show at the Crucible Gallery in Manila.
1999: Group Show at the M&R Gallery in Madrid.
2001: Solo Show at The Club Financiero de Madrid.
2004: Joint Exhibit with Isabel martinez Bordiu at the Colegio Santa Maria de los Rosales in Madrid.
2008: Solo Show at Archie in Madrid.
2009: Joint Exhibit with Betsy Westendorp at the Ayala Museum in Manila.
2010: Group Show dedicated to the Prado Museum with Filipino Painters in Manila.
2012: Joint Exhibit with Eduardo Mazariegos at the Centro Cultural de Aravaca.
2013: Group Show with the Association for Sculptors and Painters at the Vaguada Cultural Center in Madrid.

Apart from that, she have worked as an assistant to photographer Eduardo Seca at the Ayala Museum for her book titled M'ai, which she enjoyed very much and also acted in Repertory Philippines in “Sound of Music” as Sister Sophia,  and in a comedy “Let's Get a Divorce”.

Carmen Brias - Pogi smelling the flowers. 61 x 50cm, Oil    on canvas, Date 2011

“In A New Light” will be on view Altro Mondo, Greenbelt 5, Makati City until March 13.

Carmen Brias - Red flowers in art school. 61 x 50 cm, Oil    on wood, Date 2014

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