Larissa De Jesús Negrón’s first solo exhibition with Nicodim

𝘛𝘦𝘮𝘰 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘮𝘦 (𝘐 𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘺𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧), 2023
acrylic and oil on canvas
60h x 48w in

Eso Pasa, the title of Larissa De Jesús Negrón’s first solo exhibition with Nicodim, refers to a fleeting feeling—the phrase roughly translates to English as “that happens.” Also used to refer to moments in life that are temporary, mundane, and everyday, the words encourage a mentality of impermanence similar to the idiom “this too shall pass.” Though eso pasa can be translated many ways and used in myriad circumstances, for De Jesús Negrón, the words are a reminder to stay present. As she produced this body of work, the phrase became a mantra: a meditation on healing through remaining grounded in each passing moment in her studio.

The intimacy of domestic, interior spaces unites each piece in this body of work. By elevating the seemingly prosaic elements of daily existence, De Jesús Negrón takes a personal journey into the present. Slowing down is a healing process that reminds the artist to take a deeper look at her surroundings, encouraging her to think less, and instead explore her other sensorial experiences. In so doing, De Jesús Negrón employs a new painting strategy composed of quick, short brush strokes to suggest the speed with which she often moves through the world. These marks blur viewers’ perception of the pieces, and her subjects turn into mere glimpses in time.

Larissa De Jesús Negrón: Eso Pasa
Los Angeles Upstairs
April 8 – May 13, 2023

In ¿Cuándo seré suficiente? (When will I be enough?), these brushstrokes double as wood grain on a windowsill that frames a faintly visible human form, distorted underneath water and panes of broken glass. Here, a body floats amongst relics of everyday life—money, rings, scraps of food, a women’s razor—all representing the performative expectations of success and femininity that the subject must contend with. A distressed face comes into focus inside this portal, questioning, as the title suggests, the physical and emotional ways these expectations consume her daily life. The figure, trapped though she is within the frame, stands in for the artist herself, who so frequently feels consumed by thoughts of the past and desires for the future.

Las bellas no sufren (Pretty ones don’t suffer) is the artist’s first experimentation with textile. In this case, De Jesús Negrón paints a blemished, strained face on a round polyester rug, using her now-recognizable spray paint technique. This reference to domesticity physically centers viewers in the exhibition, marking the importance of one’s interior life. Returning to notions of the home was integral to the process of creating these works. In looking to the minutiae of her physical space, the artist uncovered new ways to deepen her relationship to her practice, privileging deliberate introspection over unchecked momentum. The universality of the themes underpinning Eso Pasa is a cohering force in the exhibition. De Jesús Negrón’s investigations into temporality and the preoccupation with forward motion tells a story not unique to the artist’s experience, but nevertheless grounded by her characteristic style that blends a dream-like whimsy with more sinister implications.

Larissa De Jesús Negrón (b. 1994, Puerto Rico)attended The School of Plastic Arts in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, and later received a BFA from Hunter College in New York in 2017. Recent exhibitions include Distraída, Guts Gallery, London (2023, solo); Satori, L21 Gallery, Mallorca (2022, solo); Continuous Present, Lorin Gallery, Los Angeles (2022); Have we met?, Tesoro Collection, Amsterdam (2022); Le Corps-Paysage, Bim Bam Gallery, Paris (2022); Life in an Ivory Tower, curated by Jack Siebert, New York (2022); DISEMBODIED, curated by Ben Lee Ritchie Handler, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest (2022); Better Go South Gallery Inaugurate Exhibition, Better Go South Gallery, Stuttgart (2022); Summer Summer Group Show, Ross and Kramer, New York (2021); Detrás del Sol, More Pain Gallery, New York (2021, solo); House Parté, Carlye Packer, Palm Springs (2021); Shining in the low tide, Unclebrother, New York (2021); and 100 Drawings from Now, The Drawing Center, New York (2020).