CONTEMPORARY TOTEMS: THE ART OF ARIEL VARGASSAL

July 13 - August 14, 2018

 

Presented by Building Bridges Art Exchange, in partnership with Bombay Sapphire® Artisan Series

Curated by Marisa Caichiolo

Los Angeles-based, Mexican artist Ariel Vargassal uses his portrait series as a means to explore metaphorical themes that impact modern society, such as mental health issues, political and social inequities, and emotional states of both cognitive dissonance and unexpected pleasure.

 

Drawing from his homeland’s rich history of mural art that blossomed into the movement known as “Magic Naturalism”, as well as being influenced by the indigenous belief systems from the Americas, and elsewhere, that used the spiritual concept of totems in day-to-day life, Vargassal utilizes a minimalist approach to his work in order to reveal the complex co-existence between the human world and that of wild life. Another key influence in his work comes from the “Magic Realism” literature that he grew up reading, novels and stories by the likes of Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez , and Jorge Luis Borges; as a result--and as opposed to the traditional mythical aspects of totemism--the animals in Vargassal’s paintings live in the same reality as his human subjects, in which a kind of mutual communion and communication is allowed to be represented.  

 

Vargassal uses his series to push against cultural boundaries, but in painting after painting he also explores his own curiosity and confusion about the world. Throughout the series we observe Vargassal touching on one issue and identity at a time. We see in his work a man asserting his own journey on the canvas while using metaphor and allegory to help better define his own unique viewpoint and personal vision.

 OUR PARTNERS 

QATAR VISUAL ARTS CENTER 

 

MINISTRY OF CULTURE, ARTS AND HERITAGE QATAR

KATARA ART CENTER 

 

NATIONAL AFFAIR

FOR CULTURE AND THE ARTS

MUSEO DE LAS ARTES UNIVERSIDAD

DE GUADALAJARA

IFITRY RESIDENCY OF ARTISTS

UNIVERSITY OF ARTS BAJA CALIFORNIA

CULTURAL INSTITUTE

OF BAJA CALIFORNIA

CONTEMPORARY ART

PLATFORM - CHILE

ARTE AL LIMITE

CENTER OF THE 

ARTS ESTACION 

ANTOFAGASTA - CHILE

BICE BUGATTI

CLUB

CENTRE D'ART CONTEMPORAIN

ESSAOUIRA 

REDLINE

CONTEMPORARY 

ARTS CENTER

LA ART SHOW

CONTEMPORARY

EXPRESSIONS OF ART

MAROC PREMIUM

FOUNDATION

THE BROAD

KAI 10 ARTHENA FOUNDATION

INTERNATIONAL 

BIENNIAL

OF CASABLANCA

MOPLA

CENTER OF THE ARTS

ENSENADA, BC, MEXICO

SANTO TOMAS

CULTURAL ART CENTER

ART SCI CENTER UCLA

VILLA AURORA +

THOMAS MANN HOUSE

IASAS

UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED

ARTS VIENNA

CONSULATE GENERAL

OF POLAND

SENATE OF BERLIN

NATIONAL YOUNGARTS FOUNDATION

ITALIAN CULTURAL

INSTITUTE OF

LOS ANGELES

LUCIE FOUNDATION

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