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Art Exhibit Explores Themes Of Indigenous Culture By Contemporary Latin American Artists

Art Exhibit Explores Themes Of Indigenous Culture By Contemporary Latin American Artists

Atavism: An Ancestral Calling

October 9-October 11, 2021

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Atavism: An Ancestral Calling considers the influence and express interpretation of native life and culture and iconography by artists of the Latin American diaspora by looking critically at the history of indigenous people and their descendants from the Caribbean, Central and South America, as an extension of this same familial and cultural contextual inheritance. At its heart, the project incites a fundamental awareness of how we study art across different contexts and the various models of analysis. In this way, Atavism ponders the principles and meanings of art inspired by Native descent.  Examining how and why artists explored the expressive capacities of line, color, and texture, Atavism highlights a number of different mediums and styles all with a unifying theme of ancestral legacy derived from the posterity of the Native people of the Americas. Artists and artist collectives from Latin America have long grappled with issues of authenticity, national and regional identity, and the decolonization of culture. The exhibition features works by a diverse group of artists such as Marthalicia Matarrita, Albertus Joseph, Ralph Serrano, Albert Areizaga, Angie LM Vasquez, Giannina Gutierrez, Eileen Alcalde, Micheal Casiano, Nia Andino, Alex Reynoso, Jacqui Martinez, Rush Humphrey, and James Polanco. On view are works produced by artists from countries including Colombia, The Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Honduras, Peru, Puerto Rico and Belize. 

The works in this exhibition are a renewed contemporary narration of Indigenous and Latin American descent through art.

Curated and organized by Charlie Elo Liriano, the exhibition will be on view from October 9 through October 11, 2021.

Major support for the exhibition is provided by the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Flaco Coquito LLC. Additional generous support is provided by Elovated Media and Art Culture NYC.


Atavism demonstrates for the viewer an interweaving of cultures within Latin America, and its diaspora, while placing particular emphasis on Indigenous influences and how they are still evident in contemporary life.  The artwork selected for this exhibition speculates on the modern relevance of this ancestry by allowing the viewer to visualize elements that infer, if not blatantly express the influence of indigenous roots from a contemporary standpoint. Artists approaching themes of Indigenous heritage have perpetually surged across the diaspora, reinterpreting icons, imagery and reimagining the worlds these ancients lived in, while exhibiting how the ancestral spirit and energy survives in them. Indigenous art stands as a statement through a series of life experiences of self-definition, a recounting of history, reinterpreted.

An abstract of ancestral energy rooted in history is seen in Michael Casiano's sculptures reverberating from the ceremonial tools and artifacts used during rituals of the Taino. Giannina Gutierrez's sculptural work transcends the space in which it exists, incorporating objects found in nature, she creates surreal installations that create sensory experiences. She explores "the urge to return to nature, turn inward and be an island". Marthalicia Matarrita's art examines themes of spirituality and nature, often conflating images interpreting both at once. Her piece in the show exudes a blatant sense of memento mori with a striking connection between animal and man. Nia Andino's work is based strongly on her culture and reverence for her heritage. Her piece, inspired by the Taino Diosa Luna,  pays homage to the Taino deity via her acrylic painting on canvas. Jacqui Martinez's abstract figurative work is rich with complimentary colors, allowing the viewer to engage in a conversation with messages of self determination, resilience and environmental awareness. Eileen Alcalde's figurative paintings are made with acrylic paint and charcoal on canvas, using broad strokes and outlines she expresses underlying themes of motherhood and indigenous ancestry. James Polanco's art work uses pencil, markers and acrylic paint to visually depict themes of controversial imagery that provoke awareness and thought about current events. Alex Reynoso's art employs acrylic paint and broad strokes on canvas with a realist, loose impressionist approach. Albert Areizaga's paintings are replete with historical references to various native cultures of the world created with acrylic paint on canvas rooted in conventional realism. The portrait photographs of Angie LM Vasquez reveal a unique capturing of light and expression in the subjects of her photos. One particular facet of art based on indigenous culture is the depiction of the human figure and ceremonial face paint, Ralph Serrano incorporates both in his digital art as well as curvilinear outlines. The female figure and ritualistic face paint is centrally observed in the acrylic paintings of Albertus Joseph who often uses a black and white, monotone palette with imagery that denotes spiritual and physical strength in the subjects in his work. Rush Humphrey's native imagery incorporates the female figure with realist works created with chalk pastel and watercolor on paper.

Charlie Liriano is a Visual Artist, Curator and Managing Director of Art Culture NYC Artist Collective. Charlie has exhibited at The Longwood Art Gallery, Lehman Art Gallery, Hall of Fame Art Gallery, Woodhull Hospital, Balla Ban Gallery (Dublin Ireland) and most recently The Bronx Art Space. He holds a BFA in Studio Art from Lehman College.

The works in this exhibition are an echo of history and a renewed contemporary narration of Latin American descent through art.

About Art Culture NYC

The artists of the Art Culture NYC collective encompass all the visual arts: painting, sculpture, drawing and printmaking, photography, architecture and decorative arts, video, film, and performance; a wide range of disciplines spanning the artistic spectrum. Through a series of art events, performances and community based projects Art Culture NYC aims to redefine the status quo in an effort to unite diverse cultures across NYC and beyond.

General Information

Gallery at 208 Bowery Street New York, NY 10012


Opening Reception: Saturday 5pm - 9pm

Sunday:  4pm - 9pm 

Monday: 3pm - 7pm

Open to the Public

Contact: Charlie ELO Liriano


Cision View original content:

SOURCE Flaco Coquito

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