Oswald Newman Saenz’s solo exhibition, Deborah, was dedicated to his mother and primary caregiver, Deborah Botero. Held at Summertime in Brooklyn, New York last month, the show consisted of drawings that coalesced the earthly and spiritual, with angels galore. The transcendent nature and content of Oswald’s drawings translate over to the animate, where he includes himself in an exhibited animation dancing behind a boisterous marching band. The animation also marks Oswald’s return to music after withdrawing from it when his mother passed away in January of this year.
Loss and grief are palpable in Oswald’s works, but so is celebration. The two sentiments wrap around each other much like the terrestrial and material—flower petals and leaves—which braid the sacred in the form of celestial figures and spaces. One could even say they bloom in this wrapping as the flower form is echoed in the crowns and wings of angels in Angels in the Sky (2021). Not only a compelling and beautiful exhibition, Deborah is also a sweet and profound tribute to a loved mother.