Proving himself as one of today’s most prolific and accomplished young artists, Henry Asencio presents yet another image from his Sanctuary Series – a group of contemporary figure studies that speaks of poetic situations and dreamlike states. “Embrace”, appropriately titled, is a delicate image of a woman embraced in her own arms.
Asencio’s masterful use of coloration, shadow and abstraction unite to suggest a retaliatory expression of silent retreat and quiet reflection. Beyond the beauty, strength and vitality of Asencio’s chosen subject, an aura of ironic isolation overpowers the composition. As if seeking an emotional fortress within oneself, the artist consciously chose a tighter composition to articulate a heightened sense of intimacy while visually communicating a feeling of enclosure – or perhaps, a desire to escape emotional asphyxiation?
Asencio insists that this work is not about one woman’s circumstance, but a universal state of mind familiar to those ever in need of self-reflection and quiet reverie. The resulting image is one that questions the very nature of what is present and what is absent. The artist’s intention to exude a powerful yet sensual undercurrent amidst a commentary of seclusion ultimately gives birth to a visually profound and truly beautiful work of art.