Art is usually a platform for discussion, and this fall it will be a launching pad.
RAFFMA, Cal State San Bernardino’s Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art, will present “PERSPECTIVES,” a new exhibition of contemporary art rich in Chicano and Latino dialogue, charged imagery, vivid color and captivating personal stories.
“PERSPECTIVES” will be on display at RAFFMA Oct. 1-Dec. 15. An opening reception will be held on Sept. 29 from 5-7 p.m. at the museum, with a preview for Friends of the Museum at 4:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public; parking at CSUSB is $5.
“PERSPECTIVES” features five artists – Luis G. Hernandez, David Rosales, Kathy Sosa, Gregg Stone and Linda Vallejo – each of them in a solo exhibition with its own title under the unifying theme of “perspectives.”
The artists vary considerably in their backgrounds, life and professional experiences, and even geographical locations. Working in a wide range of mediums, they represent different styles and genres – from modern realism through post-postmodern appropriation in a form of repurposed sculptures and collages focusing on comic social and political satire, to more conceptual, minimalistic and edgy, socially and politically engaged art.
The exhibition’s open formula allows for a dynamic intersection of topics, themes stories or narratives concentrating on issues such as cultural and national identity, communication, cultural and racial politics, immigration and border tensions and beyond. It also includes the artists’ own personal stories leading to their professional choices and creative decisions, and, playfully, “PERSPECTIVES,” not only from the artists themselves but also from the visitors and participants in the exhibition’s accompanying programs.
“The artists in the exhibition offer an array of perspectives on topics pertaining mostly, but not limited to, Mexico and Mesoamerica, in a variety of narratives, multiple layers of meanings and intimate reflections upon cultural, racial, social and political matters,” said Eva Kirsch, exhibition curator and RAFFMA director.
“Some of the works in the exhibition are serious, even somber, while some are satirical, with a twisty, biting
pun,” Kirsch said. “They all have an undercurrent of witty playfulness that unifies them in a curious sort of way. They encourage and often provoke a discourse, which is necessary and needed.”
About the artists and their art
Luis G. Hernandez’s mixed media, often text-based works and site-specific projects are rooted in the artist’s experiences of being raised in cities throughout Baja and Southern California. Not overtly political and visually evoking suprematism and minimalism, his works persistently draw attention to the complicated narratives of the immigrant community – but in a subtle and playful way.
David Rosales’s paintings combine art historical influences with snapshots of events or people from the artist’s life, summarizing his experiences as a Southern California Chicano artist. Frequent motives of flying saucer sombreros, robot zombies and aliens in the artist’s works are witty metaphors for the common stereotypes and racial misconceptions.
Kathy Sosa’s bright paintings combine the Western art tradition, in particular Matisse and Modigliani, with the Latino folk tradition and the artist’s commercial art experience. Her two series, “Huipiles” and “Trees of Life,” offer an enchanting, contemporary take on the traditional cultural icons of Mexico and Mesoamerica, fully integrated into powerful portraits of women.
Gregg Stone’s art results from the artist’s long, devastating substance abuse episode in Tijuana. Recovered, the artist became a keen narrator of life on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. With sharp, honest takes combined with masterful technique, he records the process of blending the two cultures into a hybrid society – neither Mexican nor American.
Linda Vallejo’s “Make ‘Em All Mexican” project is wickedly funny in its biting social and political satire, which causes the viewer to laugh and then apologize for “thinking it’s a joke.” Enchanted by images charged with a specific cultural viewpoint used to interpret contemporary issues, the artist appropriates and repurposes both sacred and pop Western icons, turning them into Latinos.
The Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art is a nationally recognized museum accredited by the American Association of Museums. It is the only accredited art museum in San Bernardino. RAFFMA has accumulated a permanent collection of nearly 1,200 objects focusing on Egyptian antiquities, ceramics and contemporary art. Located at Cal State San Bernardino, RAFFMA also houses the largest permanent and public display of Egyptian art in Southern California.
General admission to the museum is free. Suggested donation is $3. Parking at Cal State San Bernardino is $5 per vehicle.
The museum is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and is closed Friday and Sunday. For more information, call (909) 537-7373 or visit the RAFFMA website.