CHICAGO, 2016-Apr-08 — /Travel PR News/ — Carlos Rolón/Dzine: I Tell You This Sincerely… brings the internationally-recognized artist home for his first Chicago solo exhibition in 12 years at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St., Chicago Rooms on 2nd floor North), Chicago Rooms (2nd Floor North) this April 9 to July 31. Known for his elaborately crafted paintings, ornate sculptures and site-specific installations that incorporate social practice, Rolón presents some of his most personal work to date for this ambitious exhibition. Several installations compose immersive environments that reflect the artist’s memories and distinctive biography while incorporating carefully crafted objects, paintings and sculptures and mixing notions of conspicuous consumption and urban artifact.
Among the works debuting is a large-scale installation dedicated to the tactility and performative qualities of boxing sport and culture. Trophy-inspired paintings and fabric works influenced by grandiose boxing apparel adorn the walls. Exuberant textures, patterns and materials reflect the personal identities of the pugilists that once wore them. Visitors are invited to rest, as the artist did in his youth with his father, in a recreated blue collar trophy den, complete with wood paneling and vintage memorabilia and watch the historic NO MAS fight between Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard. As Rolón explains“… it really wasn’t so much about the sport, but rather a way to connect with my father and spend time with him. It was about being inspired by the energy and cultural identity he brought to the table – ven more so when my father’s friends would visit for a cold Schlitz over well-placed vulgarities, quips and personal barbs that took place in the garage, the kitchen (my father’s office) or the faux wood paneled basement that hosted many gatherings throughout my youthful 1970s upbringing.”
Another large scale installation, Bochinche creates a reimagined Caribbean courtyard and the beauty of social space before smartphones and social media. Guests are invited to gossip amongst themselves while sitting on marble benches surrounded by wrought iron sculptural work with porcelain pedestals, ceramic and mirror with exotic flowers and vegetation. A cathedral-like wall featuring handmade shell macramés highlights the craft originally brought over by the North African Moors to the Caribbean. Anchoring and complimenting the installation is a never-before-seen tropical floral oil painting featuring the exotic flowers and vegetation native to the island along with new works produced with shattered tempered glass evoking a celestial ambiance.
In his most intimate and newest body of work, Rolón acts as documentarian editing original Super 8mm video footage of the Statue of Liberty shot in the 1970s by the artist’s family. This simple looping clip invokes the American dream as her raised arm is juxtaposed with an 8-foot hot pink afro comb that delicately stands in revolutionary defiance. These works show the paradox of coming to the U.S wanting a better quality of life but keeping ones’ identity. The neon sculpture Siempre Pa’Lante (always forward) references the work of The Young Lords Party, a Puerto Rican activist movement of the 1960s that fought for equality, jobs, health care and education.
A wall treatment of a luxurious hand-carved porcelain Chinese vase and liquor decanters trace back to the tastes and influences of the artist’s mother and father and items that, in a sense, served as the artist’s first introduction to sculpture. A Chinese porcelain vessel mimics the one, which was part of his mother’s collection of faux vases, which when turned over read as Fine Regal China. Other works recall his father’s assortment of bourbon ceramic decanters, which in themselves were treasured collectables. These sculptural tropeswere created in homage to the artist’s memory. However, instead of creating these objects within the confines of his studio, Rolón actually traveled to the Jingdezhen province in China where the history of Fine Regal China goes back to the Ming dynasty.
Finally, one of the highlights of the exhibition will be the return of the Nomadic Habitat (Hustleman), initially created for the Chicago Architectural Biennial in collaboration with The Arts Incubator / Arts + Public Life program at the University of Chicago. The urban street is brought into the white cube by inserting a readymade commercial enterprise into an audience environment. In essence, Rolón uses this creation as a platform to create a base, an oasis and structure where Garland Gantt (aka Hustleman) and others can sell their goods providing income, no matter what the items being sold are. At the same time, the cart creates a place where people can sit, gather and engage with one another to create a sense of communal engagement.
Exhibition Preview with the Artist
Thursday, April 7, 1–3pm
Join artist Carlos Rolón/Dzine in a preview of the exhibition, in conjunction with the Latino Art Now! conference.
Chicago Rooms, 2nd Floor North
Panel Conversation + Artist Reception
Saturday, May 14, 3:30-5pm
As part of the Lake FX Summit + Expo, Carlos Rolón joins a conversation about the role of Latino artists in the contemporary art market with Chicago artist and gallerist Edra Soto, painter Enoc Perez and curator of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, María Elena Ortiz; moderated by president of Expo Chicago Tony Karman. Artist reception to follow.
Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor North
Chicago Cultural Center Exhibitions
Admission to the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street, and its exhibitions is FREE. The building and 1st floor galleries (including the Michigan Avenue Galleries and Garland Gallery) are open Monday–Thursday, 9am–7pm, Friday–Saturday, 9am–6pm and Sunday 10am–6pm; upper floor galleys are open Monday–Thursday, 10am–7pm and Friday–Sunday, 10am–6pm; closed holidays. All exhibitions are presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. For information, visit chicagoculturalcenter.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ChiCulturCenter.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. For more information, visit cityofchicago.org/dcase.
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