Nery Gabriel Lemus | Notes on Looking

Hecho en Los Angeles: Slanguage, Vincent Ramos, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Analia Saban, Camilo Ontiveros

I have to admit that I was thrilled to see that several of my favorite Latino artists were chosen to participate in Made in LA.  According to the 2010 census, Latinos make up 44.4% of Los Angeles’ population.  So I would only expect that they get some attention and recognition in a biennial about art made here.  Fortunately artists like Slanguage are making sure to educate and foster new talent in areas of LA where many Latinos live but are not traditionally recognized by the art world.  ­¡Que viva Wilmington! If you haven’t heard the news yet, Slanguage is one of the five finalists up for the Mohn award.  If they win the prize, they will receive $100,000 to continue doing the great work they do.  !No hay excusas, vota ya! This socially engaged collective includes Mario Ybarra Jr., Karla Diaz and a long list of collaborators.  Their interactive installation at LAXART This Is a Takeover, A Ten-Year Survey of Slanguage documents 10 years of projects by artists such as Christopher Reynolds, Mario “Dred” Lopez, Mario Ybarra Jr., Rick “Taker” Saenz, Christopher Rivera, Betty Marin, Gabriel “GOB” Martinez, Angelica Muro, Eric Marques, Emilio Venegas Jr., Steve De La Torre, Antonio De Jesus Lopez…The Slanguage crew es impresionante!  Their “takeover” of LAXART is like the Indians of All Tribes takeover of Alcatraz Island in 1969.  But unfortunately Slanguage won’t be there for 19 months and most likely will not be forcibly thrown out by the US government (but I won’t speak too soon…).   Not only have they taken over the building inside and out (with their incredible mural on the...

Monster Drawing Rally 2012

LA’s fifth annual Monster Drawing Rally, which inaugurated the relationship between Outpost for Contemporary Art and Armory Center for the Arts took place last Sunday, June 17th at Armory Center for the Arts.  100 amazing artists participated. Artists included: Danielle Adair, Steven Bankhead, Joe Biel, Elonda Billera, Holly Boruck, Richard Bott, Brian Bress, Heather Brown, David Burns, Andrew Cameron, Juan Carlos Muñoz-Hernandez, Matthew Carter, Xavier Cázares Cortez, Lorraine Cleary Dale, Luke Davis, Jeseca Dawson, Michael Dopp, Veronica Duarte, David P. Earle, Ariel Erestingcol, Allison Fisher, Diego J. Garza, Paul Gillis, Aimee Goguen, Justin Greene, Margarete Hahner, Lia Halloran, Robert Herbst, Gregory Michael Hernandez, Sergio Hernandez, Onya Hogan-Finlay, David Hughes, Kim Kelly, Olga Koumoundouros, Aitor Lajarin, Daniel Lara, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Jeff Levitz, Kristi Lippire, Patricia Liverman, Karen Lofgren, Nick Lowe, Justin Lowman, Lisa Madonna, Oscar Magallanes, Dana Maiden, Melissa Manfull, Melise Mestayer, Rebekah Miles, Dylan Mira, Melanie Moore, Nikko Mueller, Tracy Nakayama, Hazel Mandujano & Nancy Cahill, with Tucker Neel, Christine Nguyen, Chris Oatey, Gina Osterloh, Michael Parker, Zack Paul, Julia Paull, Alia Penner, Jennifer Phelps, Nancy Popp, Gala Porras-Kim, Max Presneill, Vincent Ramos, Christy Roberts, Jean Robison, Steve Roden, Brett Cody Rogers, Kimberly Rowe, Simone Rubi, Yoshie Sakai, Kristofferson San Pablo, Shalini Sanjay Patel, Finishing School, Jeannie Simms, Jennifer Smith, Niko Solorio, Meriel Stern, Amelia Symes, Brendan Threadgill, Elizabeth Tremante, Chris Trueman, Hataya Tubtim, Carrie Ungerman, Mark Verabioff, Keith Walsh, Matt Wardell, Carrie Whitney, Rosten Woo, Jacob Yanes, Amanda Yates, Carrie Yury, Bari Ziperstein, Weronika Zaluska & Jeff...

Go Tell It on the Mountain, Papel Tejido, JC Muñoz Hernandez, East LA Photos, Paper Fashion, Ave 50 Chicanos & Brinco

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit the studio of artist and curator Nery Gabriel Lemus.  Lemus, who was raised in Los Angeles by Guatemalan parents, combines fine art with social and political beliefs and bi-cultural issues.   Through his use of drawing, painting, installation and video, Lemus is able to discuss issues of stereotypes, immigration, poverty, domestic violence, and prejudice. Many of the works he shared with me revealed the division between African-Americans and Latinos, such as in his series Black is Brown and Brown is Beautiful which focuses on the prejudices Latinos have toward African Americans, and in his barber shop series Fallen Nature and the Two Cities, in which Lemus documents a stylized haircut shared between African Americans and Latinos. In his series Friction of Distance (which was shown at Steve Turner Gallery), Lemus juxtaposed and appropriated images to make the audience compare and contrast birds and humans as a way to challenge the issues of immigration. Fortunately you can check out Lemus’ current show, which he has curated at Charlie James Gallery.  But you have to hurry as it ends February 18th. Go Tell It on the Mountain appropriately opened during the weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as the show stems from the inspiration Lemus found in James Baldwin’s 1953 novel Go Tell It on the Mountain.  The novel reveals the double-sided role of the Christian church for African-Americans.  On one side, the church could be viewed as hypocritical and a vehicle to oppress people, whereas on the other side the church could be seen as a place for community and social awareness. ...