Asher Mains’ “Re/Vision” Solo exhibition at Art and Soul Gallery by Christina Cornier

Asher Mains‘ oeuvre is a visual anthology of the people in his environment. He draws inspiration from the vibrant colors of his landscape and the culture rich with spirit and movement.

Mains grew up in Grenada, West Indies and as the son of prolific painter Susan Mains, he had art all around him. His work is heavily portrait based using a wide range of materials and methods.

Mains grew up in Grenada, West Indies and as the son of prolific painter Susan Mains, he had art all around him. His work is heavily portrait based using a wide range of materials and methods.

Mains’ solo exhibition, “Re/Vision” at Art and Soul Gallery in Grand Anse, Grenada, showcases the breadth of his work and his fearlessness in experimenting with materials. An amalgamation of new and old, we are led on a journey through his transformation as an artist. From his early “Red and Yellow” paintings, to his works using stencils, duck tape and sail cloth, our eyes dance around the space and take in his playful yet bold creations.

Upon entering the gallery you are struck with "Breathe," an ethereal winged woman watching over the room. Her figure is suspended, framed on either side with ink on paper wings about 15 inches behind her. She exists on several planes as layers of sail cloth, each containing a portion of her body. When lit from behind she comes together, giving her dimension and motion.

Upon entering the gallery you are struck with “Breathe,” an ethereal winged woman watching over the room. Her figure is suspended, framed on either side with ink on paper wings about 15 inches behind her. She exists on several planes as layers of sail cloth, each containing a portion of her body. When lit from behind she comes together, giving her dimension and motion.

This is just one in his newest series of translucent mixed media pieces, his “Diaphanous” series. Mains uses sail cloth, stencil, duck tape, paint and sea fans to conjure up the feeling of life. These portraits hang from the ceiling and are back-lit, inviting the viewer to walk behind and around them as part of the experience. As the pieces catch the air ever so slightly, the oscillating shadows of the sea fans mimic quivering lungs in “Breathe,” fluttering wings in “Fly,” a beating heart in “Beat” and a firing brain in “Think.” They resonate and fill the viewer with a sense of contemplation and reverence in their presence.

Mains’ use of duct tape in his art developed over time. We see his earlier experiments on paper where he lays paint down, covers it up with tape and then burns out images with a wood burner, revealing the color underneath. These small pieces paved the way for larger works on canvas where he incorporates this technique into colorful paintings that are inspired by Shakespeare Mas in Carriacou.

These works are full of symbols and references to this unique tradition. In one such piece, "Shakespeare Granny," Mains combines paint, stencil and tape, then by burning out flower patterns into his subjects blouse he is able to add both texture and dynamism.

These works are full of symbols and references to this unique tradition. In one such piece, “Shakespeare Granny,” Mains combines paint, stencil and tape, then by burning out flower patterns into his subjects blouse he is able to add both texture and dynamism.

Asher Mains defies the terms of traditional painting. He is unafraid of challenges and takes risks. He is just as interested in the process of art making as he is in the final outcome. “Re/Vision,” with it’s vibrancy and diversity, invites the viewer in, gets us excited and keeps us participating in the conversation. We can’t wait to see what he brings us next.

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