Reading History Upside Down
Intaglio Prints by Gen Flores and Sam Guerrero
- April 3 through May 3
- Gallery Hours:
Monday through Friday: 8am - 4pm,
Saturday: 12 noon - 4pm
- Artist Talk and reception:
- Wednesday, April 9, 1 - 3pm
Gene Flores and Sam Guerrero both look at the past to understand the present. As a result, there is often a blending of old world and contemporary aesthetics in their respective works which attempts to define and gain affirmation for how we see contemporary culture.
All my works are self-portraits and are greatly influenced by literature, music, politics, religion and everyday activities. My images have been described as humorous, insightful, and disturbing. Viewers often find my work to be thought provoking and challenging. I enjoy challenging viewers and their preconceived notions of what we take for granted. Many of my works are playful thoughts and my reaction of the world around me, with mythological creatures and a combination of human and animal characters (logic and instinct) playing a vital role. I view my works as a window to another world with reoccurring characters and themes that tiptoe between the surreal and absurd. When making art, I play the role of the viewer and try to capture a glimpse into this strange world, a world where anything is possible and where anything can, and often does happen.
Growing up I spent a lot of time playing basketball. There is something about sports culture that has always felt very contradictory. There is this element of blatant homophobia and an unflinching need to achieve the highest level of masculinity. Which often meant removing anything that could be perceived as feminine. Too often things that are essential to human relationships like intimacy and physical touch are labeled feminine and subsequently become devalued and removed. Yet on the other side there is this cherished level of camaraderie and what can only be described as a unlimited source of potentially homoerotic scenarios that seem to be immune from being defined as feminine. This is where I find myself both bemused and fascinated.
With this series I attempt to draw connecting lines between the origins of the "Athlete" and its contemporary definition. The athlete has always served as an example of human potential to achieve mastery of the body. In this series I attempt to bring the body to the front. To expose the intimate dance that exist I remove many of the elements that could identify the sport being played. I literally and symbolically strip the figures leaving only the convergences of their bodies to expose the relationship of the two figures.
The images I used are taken from Google specifically capturing a moment of violence; an infraction being committed by one body onto another. By removing many of the elements from the image the act of violence can be reinterpreted as a dance or an embrace. As a result a story begins to unfold and the figures become performers of that narrative.
2014 Juried Student Art Show
Have you taken an art class at Sylvania during the past year, beginning Spring term 2013 until now? It's time to submit your work to the 2014 Juried Student Art Show at North View Gallery! Learn more about submissions.