Grabado Popular: Prints for the People
Grabado Popular: Prints for the People is an exhibition featuring the work of Carlos Barberena, Atlan Arceo-Witzl, and CHema Skandal! The show explores printmaking as a popular medium and “voice of the people”. As contemporary Latinx artists, their bodies of work carry strong personal messages that are inherently political. Poignant experiences of various marginalized communities are reflected, disseminated, and made accessible through the medium of print. The show’s title pays homage to the Taller de Gráfica Popular (the People’s Graphic Workshop) which was founded in Mexico in 1937. This anti-fascist arts organization allowed printmakers to collaborate on projects for socio-political causes throughout its lifespan. Modern images featuring reverent portraits of migrant laborers, tongue-in-cheek faux advertisements, and mouthy, abolitionist skeletons continue a tradition of graphic resistance in today’s Chicago.
Popular Printmaking: Grabados para la gente es una exposición que muestra el trabajo de Carlos Barberena, Atlan Arceo-Witzl y CHema Skandal! La muestra explora el grabado como medio popular y como “voz de la gente”. Como artistas Latinx contemporáneos, su trabajo lleva fuertes mensajes personales que son inherentemente políticos. Las experiencias conmovedoras de varias comunidades marginadas se reflejan, distribuyen y se hacen accesibles a través del grabado. El título de la muestra rinde homenaje al Taller de Gráfica Popular que fue fundado en México en 1937. Esta organización artística antifascista permitió a los grabadores colaborar en proyectos para causas sociopolíticas a lo largo de su vida. Imágenes modernas con retratos que dignifican a las y los trabajadores migrantes, anuncios falsos e irónicos y esqueletos abolicionistas continúan una tradición de resistencia gráfica en el Chicago moderno.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Carlos Barberena is a Contemporary Nicaraguan Printmaker known for his satirical relief prints and the use of images from pop culture, as well as from political and cultural tragedies. In his art, he has consistently reflected on the cycles of repression and resistance and its relationship to the Diaspora in which he has lived, throughout dictatorship, revolution, erasure, renewal, hope, dictatorship and repression. He creates to counteract the great silence in the face of repression occurring globally, believing we are all intimately connected to it. He seeks to demystify the “foreign” experience, to bridge the distances that life across any border or wall produces, but also, the difference in the content of these experiences.
Barberena has exhibited individually in Costa Rica, Estonia, France, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain and The United States of America, his work also has been shown in Art Biennials, Museums, Galleries and Cultural Centers around the world. Barberena’s work is included in public and private collections.
Atlan Arceo-Witzl is a Mexican-American visual artist and creator whose work is concerned with everyday rituals, icons, symbols, objects, and language. In his artistic practice, the cultural production of print ephemera, craft of the sign-painting industry, redefining “American” through a Latinx lens, and documenting/ recording of events across multiple mediums/ languages are current points of focus. He is a graduate of Skidmore College with a Bachelors of Science in Studio Art with a concentration in relief printmaking and sculpture. He lives in Chicagoland, IL pursuing a career in the arts and education while enjoying the fascinating human game of communication.
CHema Skandal! is a graphic artist, born in Mexico City, Mexico. He went to Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas (National Arts School), Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (National University of Mexico) in Mexico City, where he obtained the degree in Visual Communications. Since he is very fond of Carribiean and Jamaican tunes, the artist fuses together art and music. His works are often a sociopolitical commentary on the state of the world, but with a style that is playful, colorful and full of movement, deeply influenced by a love for music and la cultura.