Philadelphia Inquirer - Art [September 29, 2006] ---------------------------
By Edith Newhall
The Seraphin Gallery has taken to showing younger Philadelphia artists these days, and its two-person exhibition of paintings by Mauro Zaomra and Todd Keyser is one of the most successful undertakings to date.
Philosophically, Zamora and Keyser are on the wavelength. Both address the dystopian aspects of contemporary life, both use color to great advantage, and both have strong individual styles.
Zamora-whose audio-enhanced wall painting/mural of the El stop at Second and Spring Garden Streets was one of the cleverest works in the Philadelphia Art Alliance's "OutsideIN" exhibition this summer-is represented by 21 paintings, all subdued in mood, imagery and color. He calls hi half show "Border Crossing," and each painting depicts a literal or imagined transgression of man against nature. (Zamora does not paint human figures; man is represented by images of industry or technology encroaching on nature.)
I especially liked his creepy Problem Solvers, of a Louisiana lake engulfed by oil rigs, and his wall painting On the Way to the Rio Grande-inspired by the proposed fence along the Mexican border-that incorporates trash. The trash, it turns out is composed of Zamora's drawings.
Keyser's modestly scaled paintings are a quirky fusion of pop-art color and abstraction, and images of conjoined modernist architecture and asteroids. His placements of images and abstract gestures are so unusual that some of his paintings look as if they were cropped from larger works of his, although I doubt that's the case.
Like Zamora, Keyser has a talent for titles (his part of the show is "This is Not Your Father's Narrative"), and his paintings have such resonating names as Glam and Culture Brokers. But then, what would you expect from someone who mixes celestial bodies and ranch houses?
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