Working in oils, New York-based painter Jessica Alazraki employs bold colors and decorative patterns to capture the vibrancy of Latinx life in America. Yesterday, she won the top prize and a special Clio Award for creative excellence at the fourth-annual MvVO Ad Art Show. Judged by experts in contemporary art, the competition honors entrants from the world of advertising.
"As a Mexican woman living in New York City, I feel it is my responsibility to open a dialogue about immigrants," Alazraki, who also works as a freelance graphic designer, tells Muse. Her work focuses on deceptively simple domestic scenes, with families gathered around tables, "alluding to ideas of unity and comfort," she says.
Moms, dads, kids and grandparents appear in the foreground, and in vivid detail. Their presence is offset by flat, less-distinct backgrounds, heightening the soulful intensity of Alazraki's subjects.
She impressed the MvVO jury, chaired by Bennett D. Bennett of 600 and Rising, with the evocative entries below:
With each piece, Alazraki seeks "to create a dialog of shapes, forms and color," she says. "I use the decorative patterns of Mexican oil cloths, changing the color of the table to compliment the background, and painting over the design. The narratives are based on the complexities of family dynamics and the chaos of the home. I use kids, pets and food to create a charged interior that is latent with joy and tension."
In her bright canvasses, we see "people living in their own world, absorbed in their own thoughts," Alazraki says. "That draws people in, and at the same time makes the viewer consider their place and relationships at that very moment."
Alazraki also receives a creative immersion day at NBCUniversal, the show's presenting sponsor.
In addition, two other MvVO winners emerged from a field of 130 artists.
Hyun Jung Ji tallied with these surrealistic fusions of culture and memory:
And Chanell Angelique Skyers scored for dynamic mixed-media pieces celebrating her Caribbean heritage:
"It's definitely the year of women in art and advertising," says MvVO ART president and founder.Maria van Vlodrop. "All three of this year's winners are women, and that doesn't surprise me at all. These artists represent the kind of fresh perspectives and individual voices that have always been the creative fuel of the advertising industry and generate excitement among art collectors."
MvVO's other finalists were Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic, Marco Gallotta, Stevenson Michel and Michael Wente.
Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, also an accomplished artist, presented the 2021 show winners in a virtual opening ceremony. Later this month, the artworks will be displayed on huge screens at the Oculus at New York's Westfield World Trade Center, and online at Artsy, where collectors will find the pieces for sale.
Along with NBCU, Westfield, Artsy and the Clio Awards, other sponsors include Eataly, the School for Visual Arts, WPP, The One Club for Creativity, the Alliance for Downtown New York, NYCxDESIGN, GroupM, Lawlor Media Group, Six Hundred & Rising, Team Michael Daly at Douglas Elliman, Corea Creative, Gameday Creative and Joe & The Juice.