February 19 – October 22, 2017
Denver Art Museum, Denver
Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place is an exhibition of site-specific installations by emerging and mid-career Latino artists that express experiences of contemporary life in the American West. The group show marks the first major exhibition curated by Rebecca Hart, the museum’s new curator of modern and contemporary art. “Each artist contributes to the thematic trajectory that explores their ideas related to labor, nostalgia, memory, visibility, and displacement,” said Hart. “We hope their installations will inspire a new way of thinking and offer salient perspectives about the human experience and the relationship between our sense of place and the world views we develop throughout our lives. With migration on the rise worldwide, these artists eloquently explore its transformative effects on both sides of the Mexico-United States border.”
Above, Las Vegas–based artist Justin Favela uses the familiar multicolored tissue paper of piñatas to create landscape paintings and sculptural constructions that exaggerate and critique cultural stereotypes by examining their absurdities. In Fridalandia (2017), Favela uses his signature piñata paper to recreate Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul patio garden as represented in the 2002 film Frida, framed by a massive landscape mural recalling those of Mexican artist José María Velasco (1840-1912) and other Mexican colonial artists. His reconstruction encapsulates and exacerbates the flattening of narrative and identity that occurs when cultural icons become cultural stereotypes.
Other artists in Mi Tierra include Carmen Argote (Los Angeles), Jaime Carrejo (Denver), Gabriel Dawe (Dallas), Claudio Dicochea (San Antonio), Daniela Edburg (San Miguel de Allende), Ana Teresa Fernández (San Francisco), Ramiro Gomez (West Hollywood), John Jota Leaños (San Francisco), Dmitri Obergfell (Denver), Ruben Ochoa (Los Angeles), Daisy Quezada (Santa Fe), and Xochi Solis (Austin).