The Mexican Museum
Fort Mason Center, Building D, at Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F.
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is free. For more information, call (415) 202-9700.
¡Jugetes! Toys from the Museum's permanent collection
Check out the Museum's micro-gallery in our Family Room which will feature a selection of toys from the Museum’s permanent collection.
On view from Wednesday, December 5 through Sunday, January 6, 2013.
About Exhibit #1:
The new exhibit at Fort Mason’s Mexican Museum features multimedia pieces, ranging from photography to sculpture, and showcases the mystique of portraiture through nearly 30 pieces representing a wide range of Latino cultural expression, from pre-Hispanic to Chicano art.
“Caras/Cuentos,” or “Masks/Faces,” aims to provoke discussion of Latino identity in a culturally fragmented society.
“If we don’t know ourselves, how can we deal with the real world?” asked David de la Torre, adjunct curator of visual arts for the Mexican Museum.
Pitting one’s identity against that of the artist’s can both stimulate and deprecate, whether it be against religious pre-Hispanic art or contemporary Chicano art.
“The Immaculate Conception,” a 17th century, carved wooden sculpture of the Blessed Virgin Mary, stark and time worn, with glass eyes, greets viewers entering the exhibit. But the statue is missing its crown and looks more masculine than its purported subject—the original message by the sculptor distorted.
The symbols and images of religion, ancient culture and war—all well represented in the exhibit—are inextricably linked to Latino cultural identity, ensuring that no sentiment of division is made in the gallery.
The mask motif is furthered by Rufino Tamayo’s “Mask,” which employs a mixograph technique that places objects between the paper and the block used to make the print, creating a mildly distorted image; its bright colors pull the viewer in, yet the confrontational black masks push the viewer away. Its size makes the piece an icon of the exhibit.
Salvador Garcia; Ralph Maradiaga, 1986; Mexico; Seriegraph on paper. Photo Courtesy Mexican Museum
The exhibit also explores the dynamics of Chicano, second-generation Mexican-Americans, epitomized by Los Angeles painter Carlos Almaraz’s “Young Fool,” a self-portrait of the artist who died of AIDS-related complications in the late ‘80s.
The tall portrait is mirror-like and has a stunning effect on the exhibit: It creates the feeling of being mocked. The piece intimidates and intrigues with its subject, a jester, seemingly scoffing at the viewer. The effect of discomfort the piece creates lingers long after viewing.
The exhibit also makes fascinating use of contrasts, whether in details as small as the colors of the walls behind the pieces on display, or the thematic purposes of the various sections.
In one corner, oil paintings “Boy With Watermelon” by Gustavo Montoya and Emigdio Vasquez’s “Don Juanito” share a style of environment affecting subject, but regarding a child in “Boy” and a weathered man in “Don.” Its intellectual effect is riveting: We all look different, but share a common strife.
source: El Tecolote