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Mercedes Llanos

Not Yet Titled, 2023

oil on canvas
241.3 x 203.2cm
About Mercedes Llanos
Mercedes Llanos creates visceral paintings in which she replicates animated, somewhat grotesque scenes from her dreams. Llanos frequently speaks of the deep patriarchal currents which ran through her upbringing in Mar del Plata, Argentina. This societal makeup informed the binary divide of labour in Llanos’ household, the artist found the hyper-sexualisation of women’s bodies inescapable, as was the hypocritical repression of women’s sexuality. Using painting as a medium to exercise these frustrations, Llanos mixes oils with charcoals, pastels, chalk and sometimes menstrual blood, to craft large-scale works which demand a bodily response from the viewer. Appearing like liberated spirits, Llanos’ female figures drape across the canvas, representing intense pleasure or pain and their bodies free of anatomical limits. Lllanos cites Impressionism and Post-Impressionism as key influences upon her painterly style, with Toulouse-Lautrec, Bonnard and Monet being particular insperations for the artist. The fluidity of Llanos’ brushstrokes and the porous relationship between the figures and the surrounding composition mirrors the amorphous tone of these painters, yet her constant investigation into the complexity of female desire carves out a particular context for Llanos to operate within.