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Food and plants make up colorful 'Reservoir of Life'

Oakland artist Navasero featured in Firehouse lobby

Firehouse Arts Center lobby in downtown Pleasanton is hosting "Reservoir of Life," a solo exhibition of Oakland artist Mario Navasero's recent works colorfully highlighting food and plants through his abstract painter's lens.

Opening over the Fourth of July weekend and running through Aug. 6, the exhibit appeals to "the visual and gustatory senses" as food is central to the collection primarily in the medium of acrylic and spray paint on wood panel with custom floater frame, according to Firehouse officials.

"From a stack of puffed pastries to a mouthwatering arrangement of ripened fruit, the artist alternates between vibrant colors and negative space to draw in his viewers," officials said. "A modern take on the traditional still-life format, the controlled use of spray paint and masking tape brings life to each panel included within this exhibition."

Navasero is an Oakland native and current resident-artist at Faultline Artspace in East Oakland. A self-taught artist shown at galleries throughout the Bay Area over the years, he also guest curates other galleries, installs exhibitions, manages a framing business and actively participates in the local art scene, according to Firehouse officials.

For his part, Navasero said his artwork in "Reservoir of Life" exemplify his continued examination of "the split visual of abstract minimalism and expressionistic rendering."

"The subject matter is inspired by blends of plants and foods with minimalism emphasizing the forms of vessels which present them," he said in a statement on the Firehouse website.

"There is such an abundance of plants, flowers and fungi which I have been increasingly more and more fond of," Navasero added. "The use of masking tape has helped with dynamic painterly qualities for acrylic and spray paint, and it has been so much fun to dance around and loosely interpret these expressions. All and all, everything is to nourish one's self from subject matter to color and form."

To learn more, go to or visit the venue at 4444 Railroad Ave. in Pleasanton.