Upcoming exhibition:

Contemporary Latin American Art Group Show
@ Shimna
186 Orchard Street. New York.


In the contemporary art world, Latin American art is distinguished by a rich and diverse genealogy, a rigorous social conscience, and the matchless imaginative scope of artists whose aesthetic vision is unencumbered by artificial theoretical conceits. The best works by contemporary Latin American artists are virtuoso performances that harness, with marvelous technical skill, the great and diverse historical legacy of the continent and its peoples, a knack for striking, visual storytelling, and the pressing contemporary issues of self-identity and sexual politics˜while never compromising the boldness of vision and evocative imagery that have characterized the Latin American tradition for centuries.

The works in this group show are shining examples of a thriving contemporary genre. The artists shown are all Latin Americans, living in North America, who use motifs refined by their ancestors to document the frontier experience of the New New World˜in which the United States is both a new national landscape and the threshold of the vast uncharted territory of an information-laden, globalized world. Mexican-born New Yorker Dulce Pinzon, in her "Multiracial" series, revisits the bold color fields characteristic of traditional Latin American art and reinterprets them as brilliant backgrounds for explorations into what color means for an increasingly diverse society, evermore concerned with self-identity. The high-gloss photography of Jessica Lagunas describes the performance of Latina beauty and sexuality, translated ˆ or transliterated ˆ in the New New World. The drawing and photography of Roni Mocan express the sheer physicality ˆ and physical sensuality ˆ of living in and exploring that vibrant, uncertain world.

But it isn't the sameness of these artists that is so striking, it'sthe diversity of the works that they present, which are each a tentative and highly personal expression of what Latin American might mean in the 21st century.

Risa Needleman, June 2005