*Franky Piña / Chicago Mientras mi pulgar se desliza dócilmente sobre la pantalla de mi esmartfon, comienza a brotar la ilustración de un trabajador esencial excepcionalmente grabado. La figura es reconocible; la conforman millones y millones de puntos cromáticos que se proyectan en la pantalla de cristal líquido y trazan un trabajador del campo estadounidense en esta nueva era de Acuario y de Covid-19. La forma prodigiosa y el contenido punzante hacen de una propuesta conceptual una obra maestra del grabador Carlos Barberena.
Essential Worker by Carlos Barberena. Linocut on Shopping Bag. 2020
La pieza de arte se titula “Essential — For Your Colonizer Comfort”. Mi reacción primera es de consumidora compulsiva, mas insurrecta. Comprarla para regalo fue mi impulso (“sólo podemos dar lo que ya hemos dado” subrayó el poeta Borges), el mensaje visual es agudo, un verdadero chingadazo de realidad: un cuerpo de mujer o de hombre cubierto con un paliacate que hace las veces de cubre bocas, quizá sea para protegerse de los pesticidas o acaso sea para protegerse del inmundo virus. Su postura erguida cargando una cubeta con calabazas evoca a esas miles de fotografías que por décadas hemos visto de los trabajadores inmigrantes en los campos de California, Florida, Washington, Michigan y entonces no nos decían mucho. We took them for granted!
Essential Worker by Carlos Barberena. Linocut on Shopping Bag 2020
Hoy a esos trabajadores se les denomina oficialmente “esenciales” aunque su salario siga siendo miserable y las condiciones laborales sigan siendo indignas. Me queda claro que sin el trabajo áspero de sus manos y la extenuación del trabajador inmigrante, Estados Unidos no hubiera sobrevivido la pandemia. ¿Quién está dispuesto a dejar el confort del sofá y abandonar el confinamiento para irse al campo a cosechar la naranja, el jitomate, el brócoli, la arúgula y los micro cultivos para ensaladas de productos orgánicos 100 por ciento verificados?
El Maestro Barberena lleva por lo menos tres décadas trabajando con el tema de la migración, lo hizo en Costa Rica cuando emigró de Nicaragua, 1990, y lo ha hecho en Estados Unidos desde que emigró a Washington en 2008. Ya en Chicago realizó tres grabados memorables sobre el mismo tema: Los refugiados (2010), Santo Pollero (2011) y Riding the Beast (2011).
Essential Worker by Carlos Barberena. Linocut on Shopping Bag 2020
La técnica es de factura impecable y ahora en la serie “Essential — For Your Colonizer Comfort” la calidad no podía ser menor. La obra de Barberena desconoce la involución y su temática es la del demiurgo del buril que sabe llevar el pulso del momento histórico y político que le ha tocado vivir. Así que retoma al trabajador del campo y lo reviste de dignidad, y lo coloca en el centro de la contemplación y la reflexión.
Le arrebata a “los nobles” los atributos simbólicos del retrato de los poderosos: la aristocracia y el clero, y se lo otorga a los trabajadores más expuestos al abuso y a la esclavitud moderna: el trabajador agrícola, el empacador, el estibador. Con motivos floripondiosos y barrocos honra a estos nuevos personajes esenciales en cualquier campo de cultivo, en cualquier punto del orbe. A través de estas magníficas impresiones en bolsas para el mandado elaboradas con papel de grabado, BFK Rives, el artista nos invita a deconstruir el concepto esencial y descolonizar nuestro pensamiento para en verdad observar, reconocer y respetar el trabajo y la vida de aquellas trabajadoras y trabajadores que con su labor hacen posible que en nuestra mesa no falte un alimento digno esta noche.
*FRANKY PIÑAes gestora cultural, activista por los derechos de la comunidad transgénero, escritora apasionada del arte y directora editorial de El BeiSMan. En Chicago, ha sido cofundadora de revistas literarias como Fe de erratas, zorros y erizos, Tropel y contratiempo. Es coautora del libro Rudy Lozano: His Life, His People (1991). Participó en las antologías Voces en el viento: Nuevas ficciones desde Chicago (1999) y Se habla español: Voces latinas en USA (2000). Ha editado varios catálogos de arte: Alfonso Piloto Nieves Ruiz: Sculpture (2014), Barberena: Master Prints (2016) Raya: The Fetish of Pain (2017), Wolfram: We Are Capable People (2019), entre otros.
About this Event: "POSADA: The Godfather of Latin American Printmaking" José Guadalupe Posada(1852-1913) was a Mexican Printmaker and illustrator known for his satirical and socio-political prints and cartoons. His more critical work shows us the social injustices and inequality during the Porfiriato (1876-1911) but also he illustrated with mastery the spirit and everyday life of the Mexican People. One of his well-known satirical prints is “La Calavera Garbancera or La Catrina”, a print that has become an icon during the celebration of el Día de Muertos / Day of the Dead. In this presentation Barberena will be talking about Posada’s legacy and how his social-political work has influenced artists in Mexico and Latin America until this day. About the Artist: Carlos Barberena (b.1972) is a contemporary Nicaraguan self-taught Printmaker best known for his satirical relief prints and the use of images from pop culture, as well as from political and cultural tragedies. His work has been shown nationally and internationally in Art Biennials, Museums, Galleries, Universities and Cultural Centers. He has received various awards, most notably the “National Printmaking Award 2012” given by the Nicaraguan Institute of Culture. Barberena’s work is included in numerous public and private collections. Currently Barberena lives and works in Chicago.
"ESSENTIAL" - For Your Colonizer Comfort - (Detail) Linocut by Carlos Barberena
"Sólo un poco aquí: DAY OF THE DEAD"Curated by Dolores Mercado VIRTUAL OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18TH, 6:00PM - 8:00PM ON VIEW (Virtually): SEPTEMBER 18 – DECEMBER 13, 2020 NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MEXICAN ART 1852 W 19th St. Chicago, IL 60608
This year’s exhibition pays tribute to and remembers the numerous individuals from our community, Mexico, the U.S. and the entire world that have died from COVID-19. Join us to see new installations, paintings, and prints created by local artists for this, the 34thannual Day of the Dead exhibition. In addition there will be works of art in various media from the growing National Museum of Mexican Art Permanent Collection. These works created by Mexican artists from both sides of the border reveal their interest in preserving and participating in one of the most influential living celebrations from Mexico, which over time has transcended borders. Este año la exposición rinde homenaje y recuerda a todas las personas de nuestra comunidad, de México, los Estados Unidos y del mundo entero que han muerto por el COVID-19. Acompáñenos a ver instalaciones, grabados y pinturas creadas por artistas locales para ésta, la 34ª exposición de Día de muertos. Así mismo, obras en diferentes técnicas de la creciente colección permanente del Museo Nacional de Arte Mexicano serán también parte de esta exposición. Este conjunto de obras creadas por artistas mexicanos de los dos lados de la frontera manifiesta el interés de ellos por preservar y participar en una de las celebraciones vivas más importantes de México, la cual, a través del tiempo, ha trascendido fronteras. Curated by Dolores Mercado Curatorial Assistant, Marilyn Lara Corral
INSTALLATIONS Atlan Arceo-Witzl, Carlos Barberena, Gabriela Leyva, Hector Duarte, Salvador Jiménez-Flores, Sam Kirk,Rodrigo Lara Zendejas, Elsa Muñoz, Mark Nelson,Yollocalli Youth Council. ARTISTS Herman Aguirre, Rene H. Arceo, Antonia Felipe Calendario, Veronica Cardoso Nagel, Alfonso Castillo Orta (1944-2009), Castillo Orta Family, Almendra Castillo Valderrama, Carmen Chami, Javier Chavira, Álvaro de la Cruz López, José Antonio de la Cruz, Francisco Flores, Esperanza Gama, Demetrio García Aguilar, Sergio Gómez, Gronk, Ester Hernández, Pedro Hernández, Celeste Jaime, Carmen Lomas Garza, Mario López Torres, Isabel Martínez, Ann Murdy, Alejandro Nava (1956-2014), Rodrigo Oñate Roco, Ignacio Peralta Soledad, Benito Rivera Soteno, Michael Roman (1956-2016), Alfonso Alejandro Rosas Zapién, Shuta Ruelas, Ricardo X. Serment, José Alfonso Soteno Fernández, Juan José Soteno Elias, Oscar Soteno Elias, Francisco Toledo (1940-2019), Maria Tomasula, Kathy Vargas, Angélica Vásquez-Cruz
"IMMIGRANTS SONGS: Five Contemporary Immigrant Artists"
"IMMIGRANTS SONGS: Five Immigrant Artists" OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY, MARCH 5TH, 6:00PM - 8:30PM. ON VIEW: MARCH 5 – APRIL 4, 2020. FREDERICK HOLMES - GALLERY OF MODERN & CONTEMPORARY ART 309 Occidental Ave S (in Occidental Square) Seattle, WA. 98104
ARTISTS: Filmon Adelehey / Eritrea: Seattle-Based, Self-Taught Palette Knife Painter Carlos Barberena / Nicaragua: Chicago-Based, Internationally Recognized Master Printmaker Lou Beach (nee “Lubicz) / Poland: Los Angeles-Based, Nationally Recognized Collage Artist Ashkon Hadari / Iran: Chicago-Based, Emerging Artist Yulia Kusnetsova / Russia: Chicago-Based, Emerging Artist
"Riding the Beast" Linocut by Carlos Barberena
2020 is a critical election year, one made deeply personal for those whose personal narratives include the immigration from their home countries. Their concern for the future of immigration is for many an existential one; for others, an empathetic concern for those who reside in America, uncertain of their status, and for those who’ve yet to make the journey.
In the minds of most of us, there’s no question about the immense contributions made by those willing to risk everything in pursuit of freedom, opportunity, personal safety, or a future for their children. The same courage, determination, idealism, and even moral virtue required to leave everything you know and love, in order to start over in a new country, with little to nothing, not speaking or understanding your new country’s language, are the very building blocks of the foundation we revere as “American character”.
While it might go without saying that we are a “nation of immigrants”, much of America’s history is replete with anti-immigration fervor, discrimination, and violence; particularly in the last several years. And while much of the current concern is for those south of the US border, the gallery invited five artists from around the world. Because America's polarized, discriminatory history of immigration didn't begin with our southern borders, nor will it likely end there.
This show highlights and celebrates the recent work, created or selected specifically for this important exhibition, of five artists whose lives began in other lands and who are now interweaving the cultural songs of their origins into the diverse and ever changing chorus of American culture.
Each of these five remarkable artists have their own immigration stories, ranging from post-WWII Europe to violent civil strife or oppression in their birthplaces, precipitating the need to escape and find refuge in America. The show will present their paintings, drawings, prints, & collage, accompanied by a written narrative of their personal perspectives as immigrants.
Please join us in this celebration of art as a universal language; one which transcends borders, nationality, ethnicity, politics, or faith.
The gallery will also be hosting another in our bi-monthly performance series, HOT JAZZ AT THE GALLERY on Friday April 3rd, featuring the nationally acclaimed vocalist and recording artist, GRETA MATASSA & THE GRETA MATASSA QUINTET, 7:00-9:30 pm. For details and ticket information, please contact the gallery firstname.lastname@example.org
"Progressive Transition" - PRINT SALON - Latin American Art Triennial
"Salao" Woodcut by Carlos Barberena
"Progressive Transition" - PRINT SALON - Latin American Art Triennial Curated by Alexis Mendoza & Luis Stephenberg OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd, 6:00PM - 9:00PM ON VIEW: NOVEMBER 22, 2019 – JANUARY 22, 2020 BORICUA COLLEGE ART GALLERY, BORICUA COLLEGE, BRONX, NY Bronx Campus 890 Washington Ave.Bronx, NY 10451
Artists: Coco144, Liliana Avalos, Elie Angles, Carolina Bazo, Carlos Barberena, Eliezer Berrios, Betty BP Cole, Luis Cordero, Pepe Coronado, Ada Pilar Cruz, James Cuebas, Elsie Deliz, Marcos Dimas, Carlos Jesús Martínez Dominguez, Alex Fernández, Linda Fernández, Reynaldo García Pantaleón, José Gómez, Emma González, Diana-Gitesha Hernández, Rafael Lanfranco, Miguel Lescano, Rejin Leys, Vidho Lorville, George Malave, Carlos Pamparana, Lynn Ratner, Yelaine Rodríguez, Moses Ros, Fernando Ruíz Lorenzo,Roger Santiváñez, Gonzalo Salas, Juan Sánchez,René de los Santos, Minerva González Suvidad, Nicolás Tarnawiecki, Nitza Tufiño, Paola Paula, Palen Obesa, Susan Olivera, Patricia Orbegoso and Jorge Zavala.
Progressive Transition PRINT SALON Latin American Art Triennial Fall 2019
The Boricua College Art Gallery is pleased to present Progressive Transition, part of the 2019 Latin American Art Triennial organized by the Bronx Hispanic Festival Inc. This exhibition is in collaboration with El Taller Boricua de Grabado (The Boricua Printshop), Taller Cono Norte and Pepe Coronado Print Studio.
The broad range of Triennial artists includes representation from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela. The project will create awareness of the rich international network with Latin American artists, many with strong links to New York City.
Progressive Transition explores the action and effect of moving from one state to another. More broadly, the project shows the drive towards transformation in the arts. The artists’ need to “feel part of something” that can likewise be recognized and defined by others will be explored within the exhibition. The work on view represents the artistic transition seen against a landscape of societal progress. The project highlights cultural exchange and, at its core, examines the implications of transition on an evolving Latin American culture.
"The Jungle" (after Lam)
Linocut by Carlos Barberena, 2010
In a globalized setting, Progressive Transition seeks to understand the particular need for affirmation in search of healing with regards to the spaces left behind within the sphere of immigration. Transition moves forward both for society and on a personal level. The flowering of change —of transition — is to be seen everywhere in the field of creativity. Just as muralism in Mexico marks a reflection of national content, newly emerging cross-cultures expand into multiple, sometimes competing identities. New terms used in the United States such as Newyorican, Chicano, Dominica-ish or Latinx, all impact the artistic and personal sense of identity. The inability to continue relying on traditional identities encourages an interest in emerging new identities. The artists represented in Progressive Transition belong to a variety of different generations. They have found motivation as regards to notions of immigration, religion, social justice, history and environmental awareness-raising, examining problems relevant to them, and underscoring that Latin American art has its roots in the sociopolitical. Latin American art benefits from the recent increase in the number of artists— – linked by language— who live and work all over the world. They circulate internationally and influence the rising generation, making ever more types of communication possible in a world of ever-expanding, transitioning identities.
Progressive Transition is organized by Alexis Mendoza, New York Latin American Art Triennial Chief Curator, and Luis Stephenberg, New York Latin American Art Triennial Director.
ON VIEW: November 1st – December 1st, 2019 Pilsen Outpost Gallery Artist Talk and Printmaking Demo: Thursday, November 14th, 6-9PM
Pilsen Outpostcordially invites you to an outstanding exhibition, titled: "Graphic Resistance" Relief Prints by Carlos Barberena
Artist Talk & Printmaking Demo: Thursday, November 14th, 6-9PM
Carlos Barberena is a Nicaraguan self-taught Printmaker based in Chicago, where he runs the printmaking projects: Bandolero Press & La Calaca Press. He is also a member of the Instituto Gráfico de Chicago.
Barberena is known for his satirical relief prints and the use of images from pop culture, as well as from political and cultural tragedies. He has exhibited individually in Costa Rica, Estonia, France, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain and The United States of America. His work also has been shown in Art Biennials, Museums, Galleries and Cultural Centers around the world.
He has received various awards including: SPARK’s Grant, Chicago Artists Coalition & the Joyce foundation; the “National Printmaking Award 2012” given by the Nicaraguan Institute of Culture in Managua, Nicaragua; “Parchemin d’Honneur”, 8 Triennale Mondial de l’Estampe et de la Gravure Originale, AMAC, Chamalieres, Auvergne, France and the award- poster for the Ecology and Human Rights in Banana Plantations in Costa Rica, given by GEBANA in Berlin, Germany.
He has been in such residencies as the Taller de Formación y Producción Gráfica, Antiguo Colegio Jesuita, Patzcuaro, México and Cross Currents: Cultural Exchange, Chicago-Havana. Barberena’s work is included in various public and private collections.
"Madre de Ayotzinapa"
Exhibition runs from November 1st through December 1st, 2019
MINTHORNE GALLERY AT GEORGE FOX UNIVERSITY in Newberg has an extraordinary exhibition of breathtaking relief prints that passionately and angrily capture and protest the American zeitgeist – not only the reactionary political theater in Washington, but also the corporate-consumerist culture in which it plays out. A piece titled Fuck Your Wall displays those exact words in huge letters. Another features Trump, Twitter machine in hand and sporting a swastika armband. Graphic Resistance is the kind of show you’d expect to see in Portland. But it’s here, mounted in a small gallery on the lush, tree-shaded grounds of a private Christian school. George Fox is the oldest Christian university in the state, with Quaker roots that go back more than 125 years ago. The show, which opened earlier this month in the Minthorne (a lovely, sunlit space in the Hoover Building, just a couple of blocks off Oregon 99W), is by Chicago artist Carlos Barberena. A native of Nicaragua, he is known for incorporating images from pop culture, even including political and cultural tragedies, of which there are plentiful examples regardless of where one looks in the world. He has exhibited in Costa Rica, Estonia, France, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain, and the United States.
"E PLURIBUS UNUM"
I was curious to know how his work landed in Newberg, of all places. Jennifer Salzman, director of exhibitions and collections at the university, was happy to explain. “Our printmaking professor, Jillian Sokso, knew of Carlos Barberena and was a fan of his work,” she said. “She asked me last year if I could try to get an exhibition with him. I contacted Carlos … and he was thrilled to accept.” “It is a true pleasure to host Carlos,” she added. “His work and experiences have really inspired our students and faculty alike.” For any artist, Trump is obviously an easy target. In Barberena’s E PLURIBUS UNUM, he takes a direct, individualized hit. But the piece (which is also the largest in the show) places him in a broader context, both socially and historically: He is flanked by two skeletons attired to represent the Catholic church and the U.S. military. Look closely at the President’s own attire and you see more than the swastika. There’s also the corporate logo for Shell, the atomic symbol, and a dollar sign. Behind them is the Confederate flag.
Familiar images abound. The atomic symbol, mushroom clouds, and corporate logos for Fox News, Apple, and McDonald’s are sprinkled throughout these vistas of American madness. The quintessence of that madness is captured in a piece titled McShitter. It shows a man taking care of business on the toilet as he taps away on a laptop with one hand and shovels in a Big Mac with the other. Behind him is a bumper sticker for Obama’s “Hope.”
No exhibition wrestling with this political moment would be complete without dealing with immigration, and Barberena does so in a variety of ways, both in terms of content and style. One piece features a youth looking mournfully at the blue sky, out of reach behind a towering wall. Another depicts immigrants in a small boat, rowing toward McDonald’s golden arches. I do not know if it was intentional, but it’s striking that in a room filled with dozens of faces, Trump’s is the only white one. Surrounded by the faces of Latinos, African-Americans, Muslims, and indigenous people, the WASP stands alone.
Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibition runs through Oct. 25 and admission is free.
ARTS JOURNAL: Spent a couple of evenings bouncing between LeRoi Jones’ Blues People and Samuel Charters’ The Legacy of the Blues. I mentioned on my Facebook page that I was looking at the blues more methodically, and within a few hours, one friend offered me a record player, and another said I could borrow her vinyl collection. Who says Facebook is all bad? * This story is supported in part by a grant from the Yamhill County Cultural Coalition, Oregon Cultural Trust, and Oregon Community Foundation. By David Bates