The De la Sierra, Paris & Pervilhac Gallery

Keeper of the FlameSituated on the corner of N.E. 2nd Ave and 38th Street, in the heart of Miami’s Design District, is The De la Sierra, Paris & Pervilhac Gallery: a place of striking magnitude made up of brilliant white flooring and an airy feeling that permeates throughout the exhibit space. A showplace for two Venezuelan artists, Alexis de la Sierra and Patricia Paris, the gallery opened its doors in Miami as an international extension of a space that has been based in Caracas, Venezuela since 1984. Currently on exhibit is Alexis De La Sierra’s Keeper of the Flame, an interpretation of the dual elements of fire and light. As one of Venezuela’s most well respected artists, De la Sierra displayed a talent for the creative at the tender age of 14, crafting pieces of jewelry during breaks between theater rehearsals. This distraction quickly evolved into a passion for working with metals. Over a short period of time he became a self-taught master of orfèvrerie, an art that combines the disciplines of goldsmith, silversmith, and jewelry making. Evolving from jewelry designer to sculptor, he opened the Escuela de Orfebres Alexis de la Sierra, a renowned silversmith academy, in Caracas. In a span of two decades, De la Sierra has mentored and taught countless of talented alumni from all corners of the world. Among some of the distinguished pieces in the exhibit is a collection of candelabras made up of bronze, sterling silver, crystal, pewter, jasper, quartz, and lead. Standing over 6 feet tall, the candelabras’ muted tones are intricately mixed with crystal and glass adornments, thereby allowing the elements to attract and reflect light. De la Sierra takes candlelight beyond the role of the decorative and uses it to evoke a timeless, spiritual, and ethereal quality. The exhibit also showcases a series of six “cyber-paintings” titled Sacred Geometries of the Infinite. According to Ion Pervilhac, who runs the gallery and has been De la Sierra’s Manager for the past 24 years, explains that “cyber-paintings” are made using a computer, giving the artist the flexibility to fine-tune the nuances of light and allowing him to reach different levels of transparencies in his work in cases where traditional painting falls short. Elaborating on the theme of the exhibit, the large format pieces of Sacred Geometries of the Infinite illustrate the progression from the primitive earthly element of fire to the spiritual implications of light. Also on display are many of De la Sierra’s sculptures, including Breath of Life: There is Still Hope, a mixed-media installation (awarded the 2001 Lorenzo il Magnifico Gold Medal at the International Biennial of Contemporary Arts in Florence, Italy.). Subtle or bold, De la Sierra finds means to integrate light, and other earthly and metaphysical elements, into his varied and substantial body of work. Venezuelan native Patricia Paris is a graduate of De La Sierra’s academy. Following her mentor’s footsteps, Paris is a jewelry designer with the aesthetics of a sculptor. An entire room in the gallery is dedicated specifically to showcasing her work. Most of the commanding pieces are made of sterling silver with touches of semi-precious stones and gems. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and the overall style of her designs reflects a sensibility to organic forms that is skillfully translated into necklaces, bracelets, earrings and pendants. In addition to her jewelry designs there are various mixed media pieces incorporating silver, as well as an impressive sterling silver and crystal hammock, proving that Paris truly is, as one local publication describes her, the “metal mistress”. Alexis De la Sierra and Patricia Paris are artists who respect the formalities of their crafts, yet try to elevate their art to create unique and personalized aesthetics. The De la Sierra, Paris & Pervilhac Gallery will continue to focus on De la Sierra’s work for the early part of the year, with other artists possibly exhibiting at the space further into 2005. De la Sierra, Paris & Pervilhac Gallery 3740 NE 2nd Ave Miami, FL, 33137 305 576 3378

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