Maureen Paley is pleased to present a new exhibition by Daniel Correa Mejía, who was born in Medellin, Colombia and lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Following his inclusion in the group exhibition outer view, inner world (2023) held at Morena di Luna, Hove, last summer, this will be his first solo exhibition with the gallery, presented at Studio M in Shoreditch London.

Correa Mejía uses vivid colours to crystallise a dreamlike world of unfamiliar landscapes and celestial bodies. His highly symbolic figures personify existential concerns, uncovering collective knowledge and visualising a return to the primal fact of existence. Whilst centred on the universal, his practice equally threads through a personal exploration of his own identity, using the naked body to connect viewers to his sense of vulnerability as a queer person. Correa Mejía presents these nude bodies as exuberant, spiritually harmonious beings that suppress notions of a singular identity and find empowerment in a universal connection to nature. Adopting a limited palette of ultramarine and red oil paint that is applied on jute, he summons the divine power of contrasting yet complimentary forces.

“Living beings feel danger when they detect a nearby predator. They become still, they become invisible, and they hide their radiantly beautiful essence to protect their life. Humans are no longer considered animal predators, yet many in our species have become cruel predators that are afraid of allowing diversity to flourish organically between us.

Painting is a ritual that allows me to connect to the wholeness of life. When painting I find calm in solitude, but I also find companionship in other living beings; the animal and vegetable. The elemental beings act as allies, extensions, and reflections of myself. They become symbols that help me navigate the path of life embracing existential questions about identity, gender, sexuality, loss, and grief that emerge. The new moon brings renovation, and femininity, and guides life’s rhythms. Flowers act as healers which help make us return to unity. Seeds appear as symbols for fertility whilst the feather signifies transformation and the freedom to fly beyond our skin.

I identify queerness in the dolphin, a wise being of the water that returns to the surface to breathe, an action tied to gender fluidity and border diffusion. The armadillo is a symbol of the inner child being protected within me, shielding themselves with their armour. Butterflies emerge from their chrysalis and accept change with their wings open. These beings are watched over by the generous tree that gives air, shelter, and food.” – Daniel Correa Mejía, 2024.

Daniel Correa Mejía (b. 1986, Medellín, Colombia) lives and works in Berlin and is represented by mor charpentier, Paris. Solo exhibitions include Lucrecia, mor charpentier, Paris, 2023; Soy el dueño de mi casa, PPOW, New York, 2023; Amor y Agua, Public Gallery, London, 2021; Soy Hombre: Duro Poco y Es Enorme La Noche, Fortnight Institute, New York, 2020 and Die Klarheit, Colombian Embassy, Berlin, 2015. Selected group exhibitions include Agua(s), mor charpentier, Bogotá, 2024; Les Enchanées n°2, frontviews, HAUNT, Berlin, 2024; When the firebird flies, Kunstverein Meissen, Meissen, Germany, 2023; Outer view, inner world, Morena di Luna, Hove, UK, 2023; Our land just like a dream, MACAAL Museum, Marrakech, Morocco, 2022; El Camino más Largo, MAMM Museum of Modern Art, Medellín, Colombia, 2021; Male Nudes: a salon from 1800 to 2021, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brazil, 2021; Terra Nostra, mor charpentier, Bogotá, 2021 and Landscapes of the South, Mendes Wood DM, New York, 2020.