De Muchos, Uno / E Pluribus Unum

Art Works for Change

Art Works for Change celebrates eight Latino artists whose works provoke dialogue and inspire change

De Muchos, Uno / E Pluribus Unum
In this contemporary art exhibit, Art Works for Change invites you to explore the work of eight renowned Latino artists. Their museum-quality artworks address critical social and environmental issues in powerful and inspiring ways. Each of these visionary artists draws upon a unique voice to tell stories that reflect our own experiences and offer fresh insights, transforming our perspective on the world.
Susan Plum
Susan Plum draws upon pre-Columbian mythology and cosmology in her exploration of social and environmental issues. Her sculptures, installations and performances channel the traditions of Mayan and other Mesoamerican cultures to illuminate critical concerns, such as violence against women and humanity's stewardship of nature.  

In "Luz y Solidaridad," Plum creates a captivating performance inspired by pre-Columbian rituals. The work brings light to young women who were tortured and murdered in Ciudad Juarez and solidarity to the grieving mothers they left behind.

Guerra de la Paz
Guerra de la Paz is a collaboration between Miami-based, Cuban-born artists Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz. Over the past two decades, they have transformed the castoffs from our collective wardrobe into poetic commentaries on political and environmental issues. They explore the expressive qualities of discarded textiles, a journey that has produced an impressive array of dynamic sculptures and tactile installations that invite reflection on our systems of consumption and control. "A Stitch in Time" is a row of cut garments numbering 108, a sacred number in Dharmic religions that also relates to the frequency of our breath.

Guerra de la Paz work with worn clothes, which unlike traditional media, carry traces of the past, as well as social and environmental messages. In works such as "Tribute," they create colorful monuments from discarded garments, breathing new life into the sculpted layers of human artifacts.

In "Manto," Guerra de la Paz use discarded white garments to create an embodiment of spiritual purity and light. The performance portrays an ethereal deity whose white mantle protects, nurtures, and regenerates life.

"Nefelibata - Cloud Walker," is a multi-media installation that provides an immersive, extrasensory experience through sight and sound. The work is a metaphorical interpretation of the new types of clouds that have emerged in the age of technology – clouds of data, which absorb and emit information.

Antonio Briceño
Born in Venezuela, Antonio Briceño is a photographer and biologist whose work promotes the conservation of nature and indigenous cultures. In his dramatic body of work entitled “Gods of America,” Briceño creates dynamic portraits of indigenous people set against natural and cultural landscapes. Briceño melds images of primordial environments and spiritual leaders into visions that evoke the archetypes commonly found in human cultures throughout time. 

In "Awishama, Owner of coca," Briceño captures the central role of the coca plant in the daily life and religious ceremonies of many indigenous cultures. In cultures such as the Wiwa, it is a sacred plant with a rich mythology.

Briceño traveled to the remote villages of each indigenous group to research this body of work. He learned about their traditions and beliefs directly from the shamans and engaged them as active participants in the development of visual representations of their gods.

Guillermo Galindo
Guillermo Galindo is an experimental composer and performance artist whose work redefines the conventional boundaries of music. He creates sculptural instruments from found objects, forging an intimate bond between sound and an object's history. Through collaborations, Galindo combines his musical compositions with images and performances that relate powerful stories of the human condition. 

Part of Galindo's Border Cantos project, "Cosas de Niños" is a musical performance that employs a handcrafted string instrument (made from a popular Mexican fruit juice can) and tiny objects left behind by children trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Galindo's "Blood Bolero" celebrates the untold stories of forgotten lovers from the inner city neighborhoods of Mexico City. The piece is inspired by Maya Goded's photo-documentation of long-term relationships between prostitutes and their clients.

Ruben Ochoa
Ruben Ochoa is a multi-disciplinary artist whose sculptures, installations, paintings and photographs explore the domineering forms and manufactured contours of the urban landscape. In works that defy expectation, Ochoa liberates these materials from their usual incarnation – the lead-footed foundations and impenetrable barriers that dictate access and movement within our cities. He breeches the perimeter of the built environment to give us a glimpse of life beyond the walls. He exposes our urban constructs and their role in controlling, isolating and marginalizing nature and people.

In this project in Los Angeles, California, Ochoa covered sections of wall along the I-10 interstate freeway with large panels of photographic wallpaper depicting the natural landscape as it might exist behind the wall.

In a series of photographs, Ochoa captured Ficus trees breaking through the sidewalks of Los Angeles. Ochoa’s parents immigrated from Mexico, and the non-native Ficus tree is a potent metaphor for immigrants who break through barriers to secure a better future in the United States.

Cecilia Paredes
Born in Peru, Cecilia Paredes creates installations, photographs, and performances that explore social and environmental issues through powerful imagery and profound expressions of empathy. She transforms a variety of materials, and her own body, into conduits of emotion, delving into issues of migration, belonging, and the boundaries that frame the human experience.

In "Migración," Paredes suspends a series of wire boats made from crystal beads and transparent prints. The work draws upon her childhood experience of migrating from Peru, and features fragments of conversation about the need to emigrate, the loneliness of exile, and the desire to return.

"El Encantador" is a scultpure inspired by "The Ship of the Conquest," a painting that hangs behind it. Made of swarovski crystal, the work speaks to the initial splendor of the Conquistadors, who were viewed as gods in resplendent armor upon their arrival in Peru before history revealed otherwise.

Enrique Chagoya
Enrique Chagoya juxtaposes secular, popular, and religious symbols in powerful works that address the ongoing cultural clashes within the United States and throughout the world. Chagoya draws upon his experiences living on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border in the 1970s, as well as in Europe in the late 1990s, to examine the recurring impact of colonialism and oppression on contemporary international policy. Through seemingly harmless characters, Chagoya mines the melting pot of history to expose our attitudes toward cultural differences and invite us to become citizens of a borderless world. 

In this series of self portraits, Chagoya depicts himself as a variety of different ethnic characters. Chagoya seeks to critique the current wave of xenophobia in many countries, including the U.S., and to disarm the underlying stereotypes by revealing a real human being behind them.

According to Chagoya, these works "could actually be self-portraits of my DNA as well." His recent DNA test revealed mixed ancestry: 38% Native American of Central Mexico, 18% Southern European, 0.5-5% North African, Middle Eastern, Ashkenazi, Southern Asian and Eastern Asian, with the rest unknown.

Soledad Salame
Soledad Salame is a multimedia artist whose work portrays the transformative impact of human activity on the natural world. Salame manufactures landscapes in a variety of materials, documenting the ponderous footprint of human consumption and exploring its implications for the world's inhabitants. 

In her "Territories" series of works, Salame transforms embossed layers of paper into fractured landscapes that are based on Emmet Gowin's book, "Changing the Earth." The works portray humanity's dramatic alteration of the surface of the Earth, and the role of technology in that process.

Conclusion
The artists featured in this exhibit offer unique perspectives on inclusion, belonging, respect for others, and respect for the natural world.  They address issues of serious concern in our country and throughout the world, and are a welcome voice in the ongoing story of America.
Credits: Story

Art Works for Change creates contemporary art exhibitions to address critical social and environmental issues. Learn more about our traveling exhibitions and online projects by visiting our exhibition listings page. For more information, please contact us at info@artworksforchange.org or visit us at www.artworksforchange.org.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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