When I first saw Carmen Menza’s work, almost ten years ago, at Art + Advocacy – a fundraiser for the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center with which I have fostered for several years – I was struck by the bold colors and expressionism of her paintings. But if I am being honest, I did not feel like Menza had quite yet found the medium that was the right fit for her. Following her involvement in Aurora in 2011, I saw a shift that launched Menza in a new direction where she was able to concentrate on a way of presenting the world from a subjective perspective, distorting it through color and light to evoke moods and ideas.
Menza’s interdisciplinary practice spans video, music, light based work and painting. She is especially interested in creating work that examines space, light and our place in it. Menza creates work on reflective surfaces, light based work that shifts with perspective and video that examines our creative efforts in this world.
Menza’s Submerged pieces are meditative and vibrant. Various “top secret” reflective objects float within frosted and colored acrylic boxes. They lure you in for further investigation whether they are illuminated or not. They are even more intriguing if you can view them illuminated in complete darkness, because everything else in the room just fades away and you are left with these windows of light to other worlds.
Carmen Menza made her directorial debut with a short film titled “Dream Big” made for Dallas Aurora – Festival of Light held in the Dallas Arts District in October of 2013. Her work is part of the permanent collection at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary Museum in Dallas, Texas, as well as part of several commercial and private collections throughout the United States and Canada. She has exhibited in numerous group and solo shows and in addition to being a visual artist also received her BFA in jazz guitar performance from the University of North Texas and is a songwriter and musician.