Margaret Thatcher Projects is pleased to present Bacanales Tropicales, an exhibition of paintings
by New York based artist Omar Chacon. In his second solo show at the gallery, Chacon’s
signature droplets of color-saturated paint return smaller, more concentrated, and brimming
with energy and color. At the start of each painting, thousands of acrylic ovals are prepared,
then peeled and collaged onto canvas. Taking advantage of the synthetic qualities of acrylic – its
bright, slick sheen, and pliability, Chacon’s surfaces glisten with exuberant color, projecting a
spirit of optimism with a nod to discovery, both in everyday life and in the surprising details of
Although his paintings are visually abstract, Chacon personifies each oval in the process of
creating the individual elements of his compositions. Forming a synergy through color and
commonalities between ovals as he composes his surfaces, Chacon’s paintings are a metaphor
for a social gathering where individuals amass, swelling into an energetic conglomerate,
enlightened by a diverse cultural mix. Bacanales, observed in the exhibition title and in the titles
of his paintings, refer to the wild and festive spirit of the Greco-Roman god Bacchus as well as
Colombian street vernacular for something that is optimal.
This synergistic energy is readily viewed in paintings such as Bacanal Manguara and Bacanal
Cotoprix, where diverse ovals combine to highlight hues of yellow and green. In the painting
Bacanal Cachaya, translucent bands of paint reveal the colors lying beneath, while smaller circles,
dense with color, float over larger ones. Monochromatic ovals in tones of whites, blacks and
blues deliver a “push and pull” effect. These elements join together and urge the viewer into
movement and rhythm and thus encompassing the overall theme of Omar’s paintings: to give
physical form to the intense celebration of life.
Omar Chacon was born in Bogota, Colombia. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art
Institute, CA and his BFA from the Ringling School of Art and Design, FL . His work has been
widely exhibited nationally and internationally in cities such as Milan, Mexico City, and
currently, at the Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL. In 2009, Chacon was selected as part of the
Queens International Four, at the 2009 Biennial at the Queens Museum of Art, New York.
Chacon is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2007 William and Dorothy Yeck
Award through the Miami University National Young Painters Competition and a 2008 New
York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. His paintings have been reviewed in Art & Antiques,
Artnet, and Artweek Magazine, among others.