THE FORTOUL BROTHERS
new works on paper and canvas
images courtesy of John Reyes and The Fortoul Brothers
Above, top left: The Fortoul Brothers, a section of Desert of Life. Top right: The Fortoul Brothers, a section of Shall Proceed. Bottom: left to right; Issac and Gabriel Fortoul with works on paper, Return to Paradise and Constant Elevation.
An exhibition of new works by brothers Gabriel and Issac Fortoul is currently on view at Mountain Shadows Gallery in Paradise Valley. Entitled The Oasis Emerges, the artwork reflects the talented duo’s unique interpretation of the world that bridge the realms of observation and mystical symbolism.
John Reyes, the director and owner of Reyes Contemporary Art LLC who also serves as resident curator at Mountain Shadows Gallery, has assembled a variety of charcoal and acrylic pieces by the brothers that have never before been seen.
“The Fortoul Brothers are really ‘coming into their own’ and I am excited to share that this is the first time they are exhibiting charcoal on paper with all new pieces specifically created for this exhibition at Mountain Shadows,” says Reyes. “Their work is culturally and environmentally connected to our surrounding community which really speaks volumes to the viewer.”
Although their names may be unfamiliar, you’re likely to have seen the siblings’ work around town. Rooted in cubism, the pair use simple lines and blocks of color to create impactful symbolism and universal messaging. For example, on the side of Garfield Elementary School, they’ve created a mural of a woman whose cascading black hair becomes a river watering a garden oasis. And, in partnership with Heard Museum, there’s the mural on the side of the radio studio at Roosevelt and Central.
But it was their show at Phoenix Art Museum this past fall that captured our full attention. “The paintings, sculptures, installations, and murals of the Fortoul Brothers present bold, rounded figures in unidentifiable landscapes,” notes the Museum experts. “Visual influences range from the flattened perspectives and color blocks of cubism, to the narrative quality and graphic lines of comic illustration. Within these compositions, figures are not connected to one culture, to one time, to one place. Rather, the Fortoul Brothers channel a more universal aesthetic. Intertwining bodies, natural elements, and circular shapes reinforce the connectedness between us, and reference the spiritual and mystical realms that have fascinated and united people throughout time.”
“After their Phoenix Art Museum show in October 2018, their work has taken on a different and fresh perspective,” explains Reyes. “This exposure has resulted in a tremendous amount of interest from museums and collectors all over the region. I’m thrilled to share these works with the guests and locals through The Gallery at Mountain Shadows.”
Above: left to right; Gabriel and Issac Fortoul pictured in front of their painting Desert of Life at the opening reception of The Oasis Emerges, The Gallery at Mountain Shadows, 2019.
On view through February 28, guests can explore these new works created specially for this exhibition. Displaying the serious side of whimsy and metaphor, the artwork is the product of philosophical meditation on the ultimate meaning of human existence, instructing the viewer to think about their role in the cosmos and how they can live closer to nature.
“Our goal with our artwork is to really show that our community is all from the ‘the same.’ From the earth that we stand on to the food that we eat, we exist collectively and once we realize that we break down barriers. We are very excited to share our work to a new group of people that might not be aware of what we do and how we aim to connect and provide harmony through a highly positive experience.” – The Fortoul Brothers
The Oasis Emerges
Through February 28
The Gallery at Mountain Shadows