Mario Davalos: Irruption

September 13, 2014 - January 31, 2015

ir·rup·tion: 'a breaking or bursting in; a violent incursion or invasion'

To search, to discover, to burst into an uncontrollable urge and try to find meaning and connection in what surrounds us.

My work is not just a documentation of the natural world, but a need to go beyond the human world and make sense of our role as a species. Our brains are trained to prioritize information, thus ignoring whatever it deems useless. By doing so, our brains miss most of the events that happen around us, within us and even because of us. When we travel to new destinations this mechanism is reset and we are able again to see things for the first time, bypassing our filtering mechanism and paying real attention to everything around us. We see as we were meant to see. There is no other human activity that enriches us as much as traveling, Photographing wild animals in their natural habitat requires many talents: the guilty pleasures of a voyeur, the silent movements of a detective, the aesthetics judgments of an artist, the patience of a scientist and the reaction time of an athlete. Looking through the camera is a very specialised and selective way of understanding the world, one place at a time. Photography, by definition, is a way to abstract from reality and by doing so I collect bit and pieces of the pre-human world, the current world and hopefully illustrate the dangers of the post-humans world.

Irruption not only makes reference to the Snowy Owls invading the east coast in the winter of 2013-14, but also to our senseless habit as humans to burst into nature and overpower the delicate balance around us ignoring creatures, patterns, and natural events that define the place we live in.

This body of work was photographed on a journey from New York City up to Lake Placid during January of 2014.

- Mario Davalos



Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1978, Mario Davalos, artist and entrepreneur, has been traveling the globe in search of transcendent nature and perhaps himself. Trained as an artist at Parsons School of Design in New York City, he has the eye of an abstract painter and an absolutely natural compositional sense. After years of building a successful advertising business he has thrown himself into the task of finding his creative impulse in nature's extremes. Davalos spends weeks roaming everywhere from Alaska to Costa Rica hunting for the most intense splashes of color and dynamic contrasts that nature has to offer. From cardinals and hummingbirds in Arizona to a golden eagle in Finland, nature never fails to shock the viewer with its hyper-chromatic palette and proud brutality. Frequently seen through intense depth of field there is an extreme figure-ground relationship that makes the animal protagonists snap off of the picture plane like heraldic emblems. They become signs of the restless artist searching for the spark of creativity in the natural world.

In Davalos's work there is an undeniable respect for nature, an abiding sensitivity to the animal kingdom and the eye of a masterful painter, trained in abstract principles, applied to direct observation. You know by his complete immersion in each of these extreme environments that Davalos is trying to capture something more than an image. Nature is a ready-made with astonishing pictorial opportunities, but it is his painter's eye that is being refreshed through these adventures. These images will live on as fully formed aesthetic contributions, as documents of the wild, beautiful and fleeting natural world and as a testament to Mario Davalos's undeniable need to make art.

- Peter Drake

For more information on Mario Davalos visit: www.mariodavalos.org


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