2 pop culture-themed Latinx art exhibitions debut in San Antonio
Two new exhibits are opening that tell the story of the Latinx experience in America, and where better to experience them than in San Antonio?
The two separate yet equally inspiring exhibits are by artist Efedefroy (Froy Padilla Aragón) and collaborative artist team Mike Alfaro and Gerardo Guillén, and are free to visit at Centro de Artes. Both are on display from February 8 to June 30, 2024.
“Pop culture captures the essence of everyday life and trends, and these exhibitions go a level deeper by also exploring diverse cultural expressions,” says San Antonio's Department of Arts & Culture executive director Krystal Jones. “The exhibitions blend playfulness and color while inviting visitors to explore new ideas and perspectives on social issues.”
On the first floor, California artists Mike Alfaro and Gerardo Guillén’s exhibition Millennial Lotería: The LatinXperience is an artistic parody of the Hispanic tradition of Lotería.
The artists replace outdated stereotypes with modern counterparts that reflect the evolving identity and reality of Latinx millennials, such as “La Dama” becoming “La Feminist,” “El Mundo” becoming “La Student Debt,” and “El Sol” becoming “El Global Warming.”
The exhibit features more than 270 Loteria cards created by the artists that aim to provide a snapshot of modern Latinx life.
“We have over 270 millennial Loteria designs on display for the San Antonio community,” says Alfaro. “From our first ever Millennial Lotería set to our latest collaborations with Disney, McDonald's, and Warner Bros., I'm thrilled to be able to show how our game has progressed since its start in 2017."
On the second floor is an exhibition by artist Efedefroy (Froy Padilla Aragón), from Oaxaca, Mexico, titled Permanencia Voluntaria. Padilla’s work combines pop-culture icons of the Eighties with figures from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, creating postmodernist pop art in urban spaces.
Examples of his oeuvre include pieces in which Frida Kahlo is depicted as Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Mark Hamill with Mexican actress Maria Felix depicted as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia from Star Wars. This will be the first time this artist has displayed work in the United States.
“Since I started with my art, I always envisioned the possibility of its reach and how I would connect my work with people and their memories, crossing borders to unite, connect, and inspire people,” says Padilla Aragón. “Now that vision becomes a reality by being able to exhibit my art for the first time outside of Mexico, and what better place than at the Centro de Artes in San Antonio, whose vision connects with the work and concerns of Latin American artists like me. I feel very lucky and very grateful to be able to be part of the Latin American artists who have passed through these doors.”
Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio’s Zona Cultural, on the grounds of Historic Market Square, Centro de Artes Gallery is a two-story exhibit space dedicated to telling the story of the Latino experience with a focus on South Texas through local and regional art, history, and culture and showcasing Latino artists and Latino-themed artworks. It is always free to visit.