Mark Cervenka & Jose Gonzales – University of Houston Downtown

The project deals with idea of a « door » both literally and metaphorically. Two figures are present, one of the foreground and one in the background. From the foreground figure glancing out at the viewer, through a painted door exists an empty room. A window on the back wall of this room shows the profile head of the background figure as seen through the window. The bright light of the exterior prohibits viewing details of the outside. The middle room’s back wall, visible, shows a floral pattern on the wall. In the foreground a brick arch bisects the middle room from the figure closest to the viewer.

So, doors exist within the door, creating the narrative of a passageway through several spaces. The two spaces are intentionally different – an antiquated masonry building and a rather ubiquitous if outdated contemporary residence. The mixing of old-world and new, and passage from space through space into an third, unknown, exterior space suggests evolution, transition and passage. The work will be executed by both artists in acrylic. The palette will be relatively earthy, save for the patterning on the back middle wall where some brighter reds will activate that space.

As the primary artist of the project, the proposal continues the thematic and stylistic interests I have pursued over for some time. While working in oil since 1993, I have in the last two years been working on panel, creating semi-mysterious interior or exterior spaces that interact with figures that often seem to know more about the space than is given the viewer. I hope this knowledge helps to enliven the characters in the paintings, giving them a more active position and suggests something of the innately unique perspective every human carries with him or her in the course of their experience.