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Park View / Paul Soto

Roberto Gil de Montes at Park View / Paul Soto

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After 40 years living in Los Angeles, Roberto Gil de Montes recently moved to Mexico, and his new landscape inspired the new body of work on view at Park View / Paul Soto in West Adams. Tropical locales heavily feature throughout the eight paintings, as his figures contend with their environment, sometimes struggling, but never in states of duress. In some works, the body becomes submerged in water—in one painting a bobbing head wades within a choppy ocean, and in another a figure lays horizontally across the painting, his lower half fading into a watery reflection.

In the foreground of a tropical landscape, a man pulls his face mask below his chin, placing these dreamy and timeless-feeling works within our present reality. In another painting, the man nonchalantly hanging upside down against a blue sky seems to have made peace with his freefall. Here, perhaps, Gil de Montes points us towards finding an equilibrium with the unknown (whether natural or psychological), a state of balance that can be all too difficult given the many uncharted waters we’ve swam through over the last year and a half.

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Photo: Roberto Gil de Montes, Rio Grande, 2021. Oil on canvas, 40.08 x 70 inches. Courtesy the artist and Park View / Paul Soto, Los Angeles. Photo credit: Marten Elder.