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Michael Roque Collins
LewAllen Galleries in the Railyard, Santa Fe, New Mexico
by Iris McLister

Michael Roque Collins, "Citadel," 2012-13, oil on linen, 62 x 61"

Continuing through November 24, 2013

Mushroom clouds, spooky waterways, raging fires and their ashy aftermaths constitute "Beyond Earth's Rhythms," the latest exhibition from prolific Houston-based painter Michael Roque Collins. Replete with strange and sometimes disarming imagery — a well-trodden milieu for Roque Collins, who is fascinated by myth and allegory — the works incorporate both abstracted and figurative, albeit densely symbolic, attributes.

In connection with the exhibition, Roque Collins, who is also a passionate speaker and educator, presented a talk with an asserted goal of “unveil[ing] the farthest shores of my soul.” It might sound cheesy, but Roque Collins really means it, and in works like "Lone Geyser" one can’t help but be moved by the work’s texture alone. Thickly impastoed, it features a central column of white, which the painting’s title helps identify as spurting water. Elsewhere, thematic elements are decidedly macabre. Sporting a dark palette of sooty, brackish tones, "Citadel" has the look of an abandoned industrial park, divided into rows where buildings once stood, with a sickly, yellowish plume billowing in the background. With "Beyond Earth’s Rythms," Roque Collins expands upon his provocative practice while allowing space for his viewers to reach their own conclusions.

LewAllen Galleries: Santa Fe Railyard

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