Sunday, September 17, 2017

BROKEN BORDERS


847.922.5736
I want to invite you to the opening
of this show, where Mirtes (Brazil), Sharon (Canada), and myself (Argentina) will exhibit work based on the topic of displaced population. It opens on Friday October 6th in a new gallery located in Logan Square, in Chicago.

My work is symbolic in that uses shoes, birds, floating paper to challenge the viewer to connect these object metaphorically with the idea of displacement.

The bird indicative of freedom, forces us to question the meaning of freedom for those displaced from their homeland... Where freedom locates in populations
hit by war, poverty, hunger, despair,
fear, anxiety ...?....

The shoes as symbol of movement, walking toward what?... where?... when?... The shoes are almost reminders of dancer shoes ... why?...

And then the papers ... so much talking these days about legality and paper... papers... papers... all floating in warm air. Would it be hope some place?....

Monday, September 11, 2017

WELCOME BLANKET

Few weeks back my friend Virginie told me about the Welcome Blanket project, a participatory project organized by the Smart Museum, Chicago with the goal of distributing the blankets to refugees.

In response to the 45th president of USA regarding the building of a wall at the border with Mexico, Jayna Zweiman, Los Angeles-based designer and artist, "... developed Welcome Blanket to inspire creative and critical responses to current issues around immigration, cultural displacement, and geographic relocation... Representing the distance of the wall in lengths of yarn, participants across the United States will create lap blankets and accompanying notes of welcome for new immigrants as well as for refugees seeking resettlement, a craft based response to the current administration's policies..." The galleries at the Smart Museum serve "as a receiving station where blankets are sorted, and exhibited..." until they are given away.
Over the weekend I dropped my blanket and I also worked for two hours entering the immigration stories and messages people sent with their blankets. Arduous work, tiring on my eyes but very rewarding to read the stories of immigrants from all over the country.

I truly love this kind of participatory communal artistic activism- it speaks of me as an artist and it also reflects my Mennonite background (my parents were Mennonites). Participating in the project was a total enjoyment. Here is my blanket. A 40"x40" crocheted yarn that I called "Mandala Blanket"





I chose strong, bold, vibrant colors (characteristic of my paintings in general) as to represent the vibrant, powerful energy of the Latino culture. If you look closely, you will notice that the entire blanket is made of circular (mandala) shapes- symbol of wholeness, unity, and completeness. I also incorporated triangles shapes symbolizing the body-mind-spirit connection.

The "Welcome Blanket" will feature a series of public programs bringing together artists, activists, and academics to discuss the important issues embedded in this project and "... and explore opportunities for response and action."

You can find a"Welcome Blanket" FB page, and also in Instagram to get updated information.


                                                       

Monday, September 4, 2017

WHAT ABOUT CROCHET?...



In my early teens I took upon crocheting. It brought me certain comfort and mental relaxation. So much that I used to crochet  in class during the long high school lectures that I totally despised such as math!. The result of many years of crocheting squares was a very nice -king sides wool blanket, that I am still using.

But ... really, my crochet enjoyment began at the edge of elementary school, when I decided to work on a series of "escarpines" (bootees) for my  father to sell in my behalf so I could have my own money!

The oil painting "Escarpines" from the series "Memories on Canvas", speaks about that moment in my life, as a slice of time frozen in that little bootee, that held the promise of having my own money to spend.

"Escarpines"-detail. BL 2015 (c)
Since those days, the crochet skill was dormant until this past January 2017, when the 45th took the oval office.

Listening to the news has been a source of extreme distress, some times more and some time less, emotional and intellectual distress. I began wearing earplugs to avoid listening to USA political news, covered my ears with my hands, or left the room where the TV or radio was on. None of it brings a sense of living in a rational/logical/normal space!... (topic for another discussion...)

It was then that I brought out of the closet my crochet needles .... I thought about the knitting my mother used to do every year, with two long needles... She used to knit us sweaters and scarfs mostly. Her image, the sound of the needles hitting each other while she knit, the silence surrounding the space she sat ... all that resonated in my mind as a single musical note... meditative note... focus and concentration.



It was then that the "beanie hat project" began. I embarked in the "beanie hat project" with my dear friends in mind. Each of them were going to receive a beanie hat crocheted by me!.

I began by asking my closest friends about the colors they liked the most, and then slow I began working on it- one beanie hat at the time. I noticed how relaxing my mind became; how comforting it was to have the news in the background but not being taken by them.

Since then, many of my dear friends, based in USA and South America, have received one of crochet beanie hat. And for their pets, there were also crochet treats - small scarf.

This "beanie hat project" is an ongoing project for me. It comes and goes like waves. Out of the blue, in conversation with a friend, I may ask the question "what color do you love?...", and their responses bring a smile to my heart. I know then that, if my heart is smiling, a beanie hat will be on its way to her/him.

But there are other project with crochet that I am involved with now ...


Next time, I will tell you what I am working on right now. For now.
I leave you with some images for you to guess...



Monday, August 28, 2017

BUCKIE & ME

Me & Buckie
For my first birthday of life, my parents gave me Buckie, a hairy dog, a little ball also one year old. His hair was mostly white with some black spots. It was my dog! I could have not received a better gift! My father made a large house for Buckie that was placed on the right side of our house yard. I was totally in love with Buckie. 
He was my dear companion with whom I walked almost naked around the large yard my childhood house had, and with whom I napped  in the dog house when getting tired. When I was sick, and I did not go out to play, Buckie sat outside of the kitchen door waiting for me; and if I did not go out at all, he went to his house and spent the day inside as well. 
At night, he went for long walks with my father. Both of them enjoyed those walks.
There were times when Buckie disappeared for one or two night and then he returned to the house with the tale between his legs and his head down as if apologizing for his "andanzas". My father used to asked him "where have you been "atorrante"?..."

Crossed the street from our house, there was a large piece of land, empty land, filled with tall green grass and small white daisies. Buckie used to go there at least once a day, just to run on the open field and many times to make me company as I used to like to gather those small daisies to bring to my mom as a gift (then I will ended up with my hands and part of my arms full of red small spots that were a allergic reaction to direct contact with those small daisies!). 

When I was 11 years old, we moved to a smaller house and my father told me that Buckie could not come with us. My heart plummeted as I heard the words, and even though Buckie was going to stay with the neighbor next door and "you always can come to visit with him", I knew deep down in me that it was not going to be the case. I was right. After we moved, I never saw Buckie again. I heard on and off that he was doing well in his new dwellings. I was not happy. I missed him very much and I continue missing him. But I found a new way to have Buckie in my life- Buckie has become my angel and spiritual guide , so now,  he is always with me.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Celestial Brushwork






"Transient Effects: The Solar Eclipses and Celestial Landscapes of Howard Russell Butler" is a show at the Princeton University Art Museum- nice video and write up can be found here: http://artmuseum.princeton.edu/transient-effects/painter-sun/eclipse-paintings-howard-russell-butler
The New York Times from Friday August 18th did a nice write up about this exhibit. It is very timely as we are approaching the eclipse of the sun on Monday 21st. Unfortunately I am out of the country so I will be unable to view it. But there is a lot,of talk and excitement about mother's nature performance that, somehow makes me feel disappointed not to be in USA to be part of the celestial party.
The article above mentioned, introduces me to the work of Howard Russell Butler (1856-1934) who, besides being a scientist, he was also a painter. In researching his work I learned that he was a NorthAmerican painter who founded the American Fine Arts Society. He seemed to have been interested in astronomy and painted several nature events as the eclipses.

For more details on the exhibit, go here: http://artmuseum.princeton.edu/art/exhibitions/3044




Monday, August 14, 2017

The 1930s Film Parodies Starring Only Dogs

It seems that the "Barkies" were popular in the early era of sound film. Between 1929 and 1931 a series of experimental series of short films with an all dog cast was produced.
Check this video:

https://youtu.be/K7w25SK0gRU

Atlas Obscura gives a detailed history of how these films came about. Follow this link:

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/dogville-comedies-1930s-hollywood-filmmaking?utm_source=Atlas+Obscura+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=eeb0bfdbad-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_08_10&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f36db9c480-eeb0bfdbad-66410861&ct=t(Newsletter_8_10_2017)&mc_cid=eeb0bfdbad&mc_eid=7c3a5a6b6a

Monday, August 7, 2017

Dog Symbolism & Meaning

I don't know you, but I do believe in spiritual guides or angels. They are that invisible energy around us that watch over us, protect us, and provides guidance in the way of insight and/or intuition.
Many believe our ancestor becomes these spiritual guides, and others, like me, believe that animals also spiritual angels that can enter our lives with a purpose if we let them.

When dog chooses to act as a spiritual guide or angel, it's purpose is protection, bravery, alertness, devotion, and constancy (https://whatismyspiritanimal.com/spirit-totem-power-animal-meanings/mammals/dog-symbolism-meaning/). There are people that believe that dogs, like people, have souls and "will reunite with their counterpart in the afterlife".

I read that dogs are those animals that share 97% of their genes with wolves and coyotes, and that they probably were the first animales to be domesticated. I did not have idea about this, did you?...
(http://www.pure-spirit.com/)

Mayan dog
In Mayan culture dogs were important and used as offerings to their gods. In some Native American tribes dogs are honored as symbols of protective powers and loyalty.
Anubis


In ancient Egypt believed gods were connected to nature, to the elements (sparelives.org), and to animals. They actually believed that many of their gods and goddesses were reincarnated on earth in animal form. Anubis, the jackal-dog god, sometimes depicted in human form was one of the most prominent gods of ancient Egypt


After the Hunt by David Neal (1838-1915)


In our current Western culture dogs have more elaborated relationships with humans; they become domesticated for companionship, trained for hunting, cherished as part of the family, and sign of wealth (depending on their breed). They continue to symbolize guidance, protection, loyalty, watchfulness, and love.