May 3rd -June 29th, 2013
Helen DeVitt Jones Studio Gallery
Banderas is a large format series of paintings that deal with the symbolism found in different local, national and international flags (American, Mexican, Venezuelan, etc). The images also deal with sociopolitical issues and are meant to create discussion and provoked questions. There is also a visual fusion of some flags to create new flags and in turn new symbols, images, and meanings. The main purpose of the Banderas series, besides personal artistic expression, is to make people think about issues related to diversity, racism, political power, abuse of power, human rights, immigration, just to name a few. The paintings and actual flags are also meant to expose viewers to different points of view.
I work with acrylics on canvas using a hard edge approach were I do not blend any colors. One striking characteristic of my paintings is the use of vibrant colors which I believe comes from growing up in Maracaibo, Venezuela and being exposed to the colors of the city, to Venezuelan folk art, to the work of the Guajiro Indians and their tapestries, as well as the work of Venezuelan contemporary masters like Carlos Cruz Diez and the late Jesus Soto. Viewers have found my paintings to be dynamic, vibrant, and funny, with a Pop-Art/Op-Art quality to them at others, all of which are readings that I want the work to have.
I am in the process of creating 20 large format paintings (12 are already finished) of the American flag, Mexican flag, fusion of both, creation of what the flag of both countries would look like if they were to become one country, Venezuelan flag before and after Hugo Chavez, gay and lesbian flag, among others. I believe these flags are of importance because they deal with some of the current issues going on not only in the United States but internationally, for example the Mexican-American border immigration issue. Mexican American United States III is one out of fours versions where I fuse the American flag with the Mexican flag. It is designed to make people think about; What if the USA and Mexico became what country? What language would we speak? How would the new flag look like? Which laws would we adopt, and which laws would we get rid of? Would the unification solve any of the immigrations issues between USA and Mexico? or Would it create a whole new set of problems?
Finally, I believe that we would all be beneficiaries of this kind of work, especially our younger population. I think that one of the main things that distinguishes my work form other artistic endeavors around the country is the vibrant use of colors, as well as the tackling of sensitive issues. It is a way to get people to notice the work and then to notice the relevant content of the flags.