ArtCenter Features Images of Gender, Power and Divinity

Various Artists

 

ArtCenter’s new exhibition, “In His Own Likeness,” showcases diverse media (photography, sculpture, painting and video) of four Latin American artists who illuminate  the subject matter of gender and its relationship with power and divinity. 

 

The artists are from Guatemala, Mexico and Cuba and include ArtCenter/South Florida resident artist Othón Castañeda, plus visiting artist Eny Roland, with Rocío García and Mario Santizo. 

 

The exhibition is currently on view through March 16 at the Richard Shack Gallery,

800 Lincoln Road.

 

To curate this exhibition, ArtCenter invited Marivi Véliz, a contemporary art lecturer specializing in Central and Latin American Art who moved to Miami last year.

 

This is her first exhibition in the United States. Veliz is originally from Santa Clara, Cuba with experience curating and lecturing throughout Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil,

El Salvador and Honduras. In recent years, her focus has been gender studies. 

 

The show aims to reaffirm existence as equally divine through its diversity and its complexities. The images of eroticized men allude to the tradition of defining God as masculine and thereby associating power to the male gender.

 

This in turn addresses how masculinity can unfold, how it can express itself, and even lose all meaning through sex.

 

 "With this new exhibition I wanted to address eroticism and masculinity from my own perspective - as a woman," said Marivi Véliz. "I wanted to create a platform to view gender complexities through male sexual expression."

 

 "The photographs, video, painting and sculpture work together - and individually - to show how male sexuality can be expressed beyond the hetero norm that has traditionally defined the 'rules' of gender roles," adds Véliz.

 

  "I really wanted to boldly open a dialogue about sex, to launch this issue onto the public sphere.

 

To break old patterns by reinforcing images of men built around eroticism, since historically this process has usually been inverted."

 

About the Artists:

 

Othón Castañeda trained as an architect at Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí in México. His work explores sexuality and body references by removing common preconceptions and associations, and transforming them into semi-abstract shapes and forms. For In His Own Likeness, Castaneda premieres Staging Desire, a large-scale sculptural installation.

 

Rocío García was born in Santa Clara, Cuba. She received a Master in Fine Arts at the Repin Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia. Internationally acclaimed, Garcia began working with erotic themes in the early 90s and mostly paints men in sexual tensions. Her work for this exhibition is an acrylic on canvas, from her 2009 series Very, Very Light … and Very Oscurco: Un Policia con Alzheimer.

 

Eny Roland is a self-taught artist who began his career in Guatemala City as a photojournalist and progressively found himself working with portraiture and urban photography. His photographs combine kitsch, pop, religion, and eroticism. For this exhibition, his 2012 video Blow Job en el Cinema is an homage to Andy Warhol’s 1964 underground film Blow Job. Additionally, Roland has three 2013 prints in the exhibition.

 

Mario Santizo  was born in Zaragoza, Chimaltenango, Guatemala. He studied at La Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas “Rafael Rodriguez Padilla.” He has worked in staged photography since 2006 and is the subject of his own photos. His work focuses on masculinity, sexuality, religion and art history. For In His Own Likeness, Santizo’s six photographic prints are from his 2013 Vengeance series, a reinterpretation of the Hierarchies of Intimacy photo series by Luis Gonzalez Palma.

 

Since its founding in 1984, ArtCenter has been home to more than 1,000 resident artists. ArtCenter also offers over 100 studio and artist development classes per year at its South Beach location and satellite venues. More information is available at 305/674-8278 and artcentersf.org.

 

 

 

 

 

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