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By Andy Smith

Puerto Rican artist Cristina Toro creates intricate acrylic paintings and collages that often explore both the interior and our connections to the outside world. Her works appear as both surreal and personal revelations, as the artist often sets out with no final image in mind. In a new show at LaCa Projects in Charlotte, N.C., these ideas take on grand forms in works like the enormous “Without Exception Everything is Reflected in this Mirror,” at 12 feet by 9 feet.

The venue offers some insight into the show, which is titled “Strike a Match to Hear My Sound.” They offer this, in a statement: “The inspiration for these works began in Toro’s kitchen, where she experienced the phenomenon of luminous plasma causing ionization of air particles and creating a glowing light, or Saint Elmo’s Fire. This exhibition shares a number of examples related to energy and luminosity: ritual bonfires, polaroids, candles inside of kettles, phosphorescence, human energy fields, and the various properties of light, real and imagined, that come from the sun and the moon in relationship to one’s body. This work is not only influenced by Toro’s own research into rituals surrounding warmth, light and nourishment, but also by the history of related images.”

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