Gordon and Montañez’s “Carpe Diem”

November 13th, 2017
November 13th, 2017toNovember 13th, 2018

by Abigail Ramos (Syracuse University Florence)

From October 28th to November 9th, the Società delle Belle Arti showcased works of art by international artists Antonia Pia Gordon and Ale Montañez in an exhibit entitled “Carpe Diem.” While the artists’ styles were very different, their paintings both highlighted the permanence of art and the individual’s struggle to come to terms with his mortality.

Modern art is a peculiar delightful thing in terms of interpretation, and this exhibit truly highlights that, especially in Gordon’s works. While other works of art from other periods in art history (for example, the Renaissance) have clear meanings and ulterior motives for painting a certain subject (such as political or religious), modern art offers interpretative freedom to the viewer themselves. Because Gordon’s works are so simple, they open up many meanings for viewers to take in, whereas in works of art from the Renaissance, it is clear that the artists of that time were trying to depict a specific meaning or idea. With modern art, however, as displayed in this exhibit, the viewers are given a more liberal approach in terms of interpreting these simple, yet at the same time complex paintings.

With a large dot in the middle of a bright background, there doesn’t seem to be much to it from the first glance. However, in an exhibit entitled “Carpe Diem” where most of the art focuses on the inner consciousness of man, Gordon’s paintings can be interpreted as something like man’s constant feeling of isolation in the universe, or maybe even the struggle of coming to terms with his own morality, while pieces of art and even nature itself continue to live on long after him.

Ale Montañez’s expressionistic works, on the other hand, have clearer subjects, but the meanings take on similar meanings to those of Gordon’s. This piece, entitled “Faces, mirrors” could be interpreted as the multiple personalities that an individual takes on in his lifetime, and the dark background could be interpreted as the unknown, and how individuals continue to battle the unknown by going through different stages in their life, trying to find meaning out of it all.


Living in Florence, it can be so easy to get accustomed to the beautiful Renaissance art that is all around you. As the Madonna and Child is portrayed nearly everywhere you walk and in every gallery you find yourself in, it is refreshing to see a work of art that is intensely thought-provoking and complicated, in which the works of Gordon and Montañez offer a window to another world outside of the Renaissance-saturated city that is Florence. This exhibit tackles internal struggles, along with the idea of mortality and permanence, of man’s constant battle between the seemingly infinite and eternal nature with his own decaying state.

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