Myriam Gurba and I have collaborated on 5 pieces that will be shown at GENERATIONAL: Local Latinx LGBTQIA Artists, Long Beach City College, as part of SUR:biennial.
WHAT: GENERATIONAL: Latinx LGBTQIA Artists.
WHERE: 4901 East Carson Street, building K, room100, Long Beach, CA 90808.
WHEN: Sept. 12 through Oct. 12, 2019.
RECEPTION: Thurs., Sept. 19, 5 – 9 PM.
GENERATIONAL, Latinx LGBTQIA Artists will feature art in various mediums focusing on the LGBTQIA community of Long Beach through the lens of the Latinx experience. This exhibition has been co-curated with The Arts Council for Long Beach’s Artist Registry.
GENERATIONAL is part of the 5th SUR:biennial. “The SUR:biennial was founded in 2011. The brain-child of Ronald Rafael Lopez, director of Outpost for Contemporary Art, the SUR:biennial was established to explore the complex notions of globalization and exchange that take place in the ambiguous borderlands between Los Angeles and the broader ‘South,’ featuring works by local and international artists who have been influenced by the cultures and artistic traditions of Mexico, Central & South America, and the Caribbean” (SurBiennial.com). The SUR:biennial of 2019 is being held at seven different venues: Cerritos College Art Gallery, Cypress College Art Gallery, Eastside International (ESXLA), Long Beach City College Art Gallery, Rio Hondo College Art Gallery, the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), and the Torrance Art Museum.
For additional information, please visit SurBiennial.com.
Artists included in GENERATIONAL:
Estefanía Gallo-Gonzalez – Langosta, Myriam Gurba & Geoff Cordner, Dulce Soledad Ibarra, Victoria Maldonado, Narsiso Martinez, and Joey Terrill
Myriam Gurba is an American queer writer, storyteller, poet, journalist, and visual artist from Santa Maria, CA. She earned her Bachelor of Arts with honors from University of California, Berkeley, and she currently lives and teaches high school in Long Beach, CA. Gurba is the author of several books, articles, essays, short stories, and chapbooks which have been internationally published. NBC described her short story collection Painting Their Portraits in Winter as “edgy, thought-provoking, and funny.” In this anthology, “unforgettable characters inhabit cross-border tales filled with introspection and longing, as modern sensibilities weave and wind through traditional folktales creating a new kind of magical realism that offers insights into where we come from and where we may be going” (Manic D Press, Inc.).
“True crime, memoir, and ghost story, Mean is the bold and hilarious tale of Myriam Gurba’s coming of age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. Blending radical formal fluidity and caustic humor, Gurba takes on sexual violence, small towns, and race, turning what might be tragic into piercing, revealing comedy. This is a confident, intoxicating, brassy book that takes the cost of sexual assault, racism, misogyny, and homophobia deadly seriously” – (Coffee House Council Press) – ArtsLB.org/Artists/Myriam-Gurba
Geoff Cordner was raised in Libya, western Canada, and Egypt. Geoff attended university in Austin, TX. He later moved to Los Angeles, where he enthusiastically photo-documented the early ‘80s punk music scene for various punk zines. In 1988 he went to Milan, for an intended six months stay that lasted for six years. While in Milan Geoff worked first as a fashion model and then as a fashion photographer. Geoff has also designed album covers, rock ‘n’ roll posters, and advertisements, all lending themselves to his unique vision as a photographer.
On the genre of portraiture, bestselling author Jerry Stahl notes, “Beyond his technical mastery, Cordner’s particular genius is the way in which he inspires trust in his subjects, often those for whom all trust has been betrayed. Whether it’s a smacked-out teenaged neo-punk or a sloe-eyed Hollywood hustler, Cordner goes beneath the ink and attitude to the damaged soul within.” In his quest for the raw essence of each humble subject from marginalized groups, he draws parallels with Diane Arbus, Nan Goldin, Graciela Iturbide, and Robert Mapplethorpe.
Estefanía Gallo-Gonzalez – Langosta is from Playa Larga, CA and graduated in 2019 from Pitzer College with a degree in Gender & Feminist Studies and Music. She has a passion for both music and the visual arts. Working as a DJ, producer, and jazz/funk vocalist based in Los Angeles, Langosta combines rhythms from her Afro-Colombian background, beats from electronic dance music, and vocals from her jazz musical training.
Her radio show Mujer Mundial highlights women of color from various places around the globe who are currently impacting the world of music. Mujer Mundial airs on KQBH 101.5FM on Mondays at 11 PM and ends at 1:00 AM Tuesday mornings. Langosta sings and plays guitar for the band Panteras Rosas, who describe themselves as “chicas bringing you the gayest psych jazz cumbia you can imagine” and specifically boast of Langosta’s eclectic skills bringing forth “music that gives you the thrill of your first queer love without the heartbreak”
Dulce Soledad Ibarra was born in Chino, CA and now lives and works in Long Beach, CA. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from California State University, Long Beach in 2017, and is currently working on her Master of Fine Arts at University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
“Dulce Soledad Ibarra is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, designer and nonprofit arts advocate with special interests in community and identity-emphasized arts and opportunity. As a practicing artist, Ibarra discusses issues of generational guilt and cultural identities in videos, installations, performances, and recently has been inviting the public to partake in the dialogue via workshops and participatory work” (USC Roski School of Art & Design). Her eclectic skills encompass fiber/textile work, illustration, mixed media, New Genres, painting & drawing, and sculpture. She shares illustrations and zines on her Instragram, @InsecureTooth, which she describes as ”a space reserved for mainly tears and rabbits,” but which also holds activism; here Ibarra speaks out against ICE for their relentless destruction of immigrants’ lives.
Victoria Maldonado is an artist and illustrator residing in Long Beach, CA. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with an Emphasis in Illustration from California State University, Fullerton in 2019. With such wide-ranging skills as painting, collage, photography, printmaking, papermaking, book-binding, woodworking, jewelry-making, she shares on her website, “My experiences as a non-binary queer Mexican-Japanese American navigate much of the content I create. Naturally, a lot of my work requires thorough research due to the erased and often edited histories of black, indigenous, trans, and/or queer people of color. My goal is to use my platform as an artist to question and challenge complex issues of identity in order to tell stories and provoke necessary conversations about the intersection of race, gender, and class.”
Maldonado employs diverse color palettes, iconic portraiture, and botanical elements as symbolic tools to evoke meaning and context with her viewers, seeking to “challenge stereotypes of people of color, the queer community, and female-identifying people” (Arts Council Registry). A recent work is the 2018 silkscreen of trans activist Marsha P. Johnson reimagined as a saint. Around “Saint Marsha” are inscribed the names of all the trans women killed within the last year. This evocation of martyred saints in iconic portraits brings due awareness to hate crimes committed in today’s world.
Narsiso Martinez was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, and now lives and works in Long Beach, CA. After moving to the United States at age 20, the artist began taking English language courses to obtain his GED. An art history class at Los Angeles City College brought back childhood memories of sketching his family members, and reignited his passion for art. Martinez went on to earn his Master of Fine Arts from California State University, Long Beach. While an undergraduate there, he continued working in orchards to earn a living, an experience that fuels his art and research about the lives of agricultural laborers.
Martinez’s signature involves modeling naturalistic charcoal, oil, and ink portraits directly on the found surfaces of old produce packaging. Artillery Magazine comments, “The artist combines images of the people who bring produce to consumers with the containers that transport this produce. The result is work that is both politically potent and deeply intimate, a look at farm workers that is engaging, insightful and poignant.” After being initially attracted to the aesthetics of this juxtaposition, Martinez quickly realized it to be ripe with conceptual possibility, having potential to awaken viewers to the inequality that capitalism seeks to hide.
Joey Terrill, the “elder statesman” in GENERATIONAL, has been a tireless artist and activist for Latinx and LGBTQIA causes since the 1970s. “Grounded in the narratives of the L.A. queer community in which he grew up in, his work boldly crosses worlds between Chicano machismo culture, the gay Chicano community, the HIV/AIDS crisis, political activism, and more. Print media, T-shirts, and collages are all vehicles for his message regarding how stigmas are affecting the queer community on large and miniscule levels, and despite this responding fearlessly with creativity, artistic expression, and unity.” (Independent Curators International)
Terrill starting drawing when he was three, and was immediately inclined to the subject of people from TV or magazines. A humanist and portraitist from the start, now he says, “Friends, family, lovers, and self-portraits are the visual sources for the pictures I paint.” His love of people has led him to use art for the improvement of lives. He illustrated Chicos Modernos, a Spanish-language comic series published between 1989 and 1992 through the funding of the L.A. County Department of Health Services, which spread information on safe sex practice at a time when the AIDS pandemic was wiping out thousands of Hispanic victims (USC Libraries). Joey self-published a ‘zine in two volumes in 1978-79, titled Homeboy Beautiful, which combined in a Dadaist, satirical manner, the opposite sensibilities of bourgeois lifestyle magazines and Chicano gang culture. Terrill relates on his website, “It was tongue-in-cheek and used humor to ridicule both the consumerist bent on those L.A. lifestyle magazines while also pointing out the macho, self-destructive violence and inherent homophobia found in the barrio.”
Joey Terrill’s works are included as part of a traveling exhibition, Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. In an interview soon after the opening at Hunter College Art Galleries in New York, Terrill stated “Regarding the 1970s and what I would refer to as the Chicano gay liberation movement, it felt new, fresh, and open to possibilities. We, including feminists and other socially progressive activists seeking change, all had this sense that what we were doing was pioneering a new society. There was not a previous queer Latinx social or art movement that I could reference or build upon, so we were making it up as we went along. Having said that, it was also a little scary.”