Iconos Big Format
In this new series Mercado utilizes canvas in big format as a medium to intervene Jack Delano's photographs of Puerto Rican agriculture workers he documented for the FSA in the 1940's. Originally, Mercado intervened Delano's photographs in a C-Print medium , For this new series The Canvas big format creates a new dialogue with the observer.
In this exhibit named “Iconos”, Carlos Mercado embarks on a road taken by famed photographer Jack Delano six decades ago. Through his lens, Delano aptly captured the essence of Puerto Rico in the 1940’s. Through all his work we see and feel the dreams, need and poverty. But he also captured the ingenuity, spirit, and dignity of his subjects in the face of despair. Delano’s images are forever entwined in our collective memory as people.
Mercado valiantly reembarks in the same journey using modern techniques, and adding new textures and exploring the dimensions of color with the subjects. He isolates them and deifies them using gold and silver leaf as it was done in Byzantium times. With this he plays with Delano’s subjects by turning into icons common people, laborers, farmers and such, instead of saints. An apparent irreverent play and fusion, of color and texture, but at the same time highlighting the dignity of its subjects.
By using bold colors and striking contrasts , Mercado makes the subject almost jump at us. The effect is bold but does not obliterate the subject. It reminds us what Warhol did in the 60’s in his now celebrated celebrity portraits.
With these “Iconos” Carlos Mercado, makes us rethink our values and makes us reminisce who we were, who we are, and, who we aspire to be.