Cuentos de Hadas





Rapunzel - Esau Andrade                               Cinderella - Mercedes Gertz

Mercedes Gertz and Esau Andrade reinterpret fairy tales

with photographs by Elizabeth Beristain


Opening Night Reception: Saturday, March 13, 2010 from 7-10 pm


The Avenue 50 Studio is proud to present “Cuentos de Hadas” (Fairy Tales), an exhibition of works by two contemporary Mexican artists. Through a narrative language, Gertz and Andrade portray the female vs. male versions of fairy tales. The exhibit opens with an artists’ reception on Saturday evening, March 13, 2010 from 7 to 10 p.m. and closes on Sunday, April 4, 2010.

Mercedes Gertz. Using humor and sensuality, Gertz’s fairy tale series asks us to consider where women are in the 21st century. Her heroines are unapologetic symbols of female confidence. We sense in them a comfort with the body, with play and decoration. They confidently own the sensual, and relish in being a woman in charge.

These … fairy or folk tales … recur over and over through millennia in the guise of innocent stories telling us time and again that the docile, young body gets the prince, that the girl brave enough to venture into the woods—the space of men--meets her fate at the hands of the big bad wolf. Peter Pan lives forever as a boy, Wendy must grow up--it is her calling, her duty, her essential nature. -- Marlena Doktorczyk-Donohue, Art Critic, Essayist, Poet


Esau Andrade. Following in the footsteps of the Latin American surrealists, Esau Andrade twists reality, creating canvases bursting with color that are pop in nature. He instills a childlike exuberance into his delightful paintings. Andrade comes from a folk art background, as both his mother Guadalupe Valencia and brother Raymundo Andrade are also artists. He is mainly a self-taught painter, although attended La Escuela de Artes Plasticas de la Universidad de Guadalajara


Unlike the candy colored confections of his more stylized folk art paintings, these other works by Andrade place him firmly in the surrealist tradition shared by many Latin masters. He retains a naiveté and originality with quirky images that are both charming and serious, and also remain indebted to his rich culture for visual symbols that are vivid and intense. -- Kathy Zimmerer, Artscene 11/2004


Elizabeth Beristain. Elizabeth was born in Mexico City. A graduate of the Escuela Activa de Fotografia and staff photographer for “El Reforma,” one of the top national daily newspapers in Mexico, she moved to Los Angeles as a freelance photographer and later became Photography Editor for the cultural publication Latino Weekly Review. A product of her Mexican mother’s artistic sensitivity and her Portuguese father’s decidedly more adventurous side, this subtle mixture of Old and the New World influences are germinal elements of Elizabeth’s artistry. Additionally, in devising the art direction of her own work, a wider range of crucial creative features shine through, from the world of opera, painting, music, and cinema, in a vision where a unique sense of artistry never intrudes with a boundless appreciation of our common humanity. Elizabeth has participated in various collective and solo shows, both in Mexico and Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband, cinematographer Gabriel Beristain ASC, BSC, and their two children Max and Victoria. She is currently at work on her new series, entitled Crowned Nuns.

March 13, 2010 through April 4, 2010