Alfredo Arcia, El Arresto, 20 x 40 inches, 1996, Oil on Canvas
Alfredo Arcia, El Arresto, 20 x 40 inches, 1996, Oil on Canvas

Mystery! Sex! Religion! Politics!  Military maneuvers! Surrealism! All those and more are found in the Latin American magical realism of Venezuelan painter Alfredo Arcia, whose subject matter often defies explanation or analysis but never fails to jolt the imagination.

In “El Arresto,” one of the artist’s least complicated compositions, armed soldiers in combat gear debark a military truck, apparently heading for a strolling bride and bridegroom still in wedding attire. In the foreground is an excavated trench containing the shattered remains of a Corinthian column and sculpture of Pan, the Greek god associated with fertility. Two pipes, possibly water mains, cross the trench.

Arresting the couple surely would interfere with their potential fecundity, the traditional (or classical) reason for marriage, just as damage to the water mains could limit the growth of plants relying on their flow—but are these really the artist’s implications?

You can see “El Arresto” and other works by Alfredo Arcia, who has been called “the Gabriel Garcia Márquez of painters,” on the gallery web site, www. virginiamiller.com,. under “Mid-Career Artists.”

Prepare to be astonished

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