Images of the Forgotten
March 18 – May 7, 2011
The tragedies of the barrio and its constant struggle with poverty, drug abuse, and lack of benefits comes crying out in this exhibition featuring Rodriguez and Nuñez. Their images are haunting with the use of Art Brut imagery and carefully crafted style reminiscent of de Kooning and Basquiat. Rodriguez portrays individuals shrouded in cocoons of their mental disturbance, patients drifting in their world and never fully treated because of a lack of mental health care in their community. Nuñez gives voice to the Latino immigrants trapped in a prison of injustice that has made them criminals. Nuñez portrays these people in disfigured and abstract forms that blur the lines with their background; at times, accompanying text further punctuates the messages of discrimination countered by images of resistance.
In this exhibition by Marilyn Rodriguez and Carlos Nuñez, the tragedies of the barrio and its constant struggles with poverty, drug abuse, and lack of benefits come crying out in stark imagery and nightmarish scenes. In their work, these artists ask us to look at our own lives and how we relate to the powerless and those who are often ignored.
Marilyn Rodriguez is a Latina mixed media artist, often viewed as a surrealist. She takes her inspiration from her environment and community. Her paintings and drawings are on unconventional materials like paper bags and other found objects. These materials are often chosen to reflect and further explain the context of the subjects in her paintings. Rodriguez’s works reference the lost souls that walk among us and their mental health issues, drug addictions, and social handicaps. These individuals roam the streets with uncertain futures and become forgotten people unable to assimilate into their environment and society. Her current collection of work is titled “The Unforeseen Generation Next.” Recently, she has begun exploring religion within the context of the mentally ill community. She feels this creates a more solid visual connection when combined with her usual subject matter and has taken her work to a new level. In Rodriguez’s opinion, this truly leaves the viewer wondering. She makes a strong effort to give her work a voice. She strives to keep her work alive, honest, true, and vibrant.
Carlos Nuñez was born in Portoviejo, Ecuador in 1978. His family immigrated to the United States soon after his birth. He began to practice painting at the age of sixteen. He attended the Maryland Institute College of Art, receiving his BFA in Fine Arts in 2001. Carlos Nuñez is currently producing paintings inspired by certain aspects of the Latin American experience. These issues include immigration, economics, and class structure. Also infused in his paintings are the narratives of heroism, desperation and greed. Visually, his work is reminiscent of numerous artistic influences. His Latin American roots have given him a strong connection to such artist as Siqueros, Rivera, and Incan art. The 20th-century painters, Picasso, Kandinsky and Basquiat, have also influenced him greatly. Yet he truly expresses the narrative of his shared Latin American experience in his own style. He currently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In this exhibition by Marilyn Rodriguez and Carlos Nuñez, the tragedies of the barrio and its constant struggles with poverty, drug abuse and lack of benefits come crying out in stark imagery and nightmarish scenes. In their work these artists ask us to look at our own lives and how we relate to the powerless and those who are often ignored.