Residency Art Gallery is ecstatic to begin the new year with the solo exhibition from Elmer Guevara titled, Mi Orgullo. This exhibition will run from January 21st through March 6th. Unfortunately due to L.A. County COVID safety protocols, we will not be hosting an opening reception. In lieu of the protocols, we will be returning to full opening hours and also be implementing safety precautions for the protection of all our patrons.
In Mi Orgullo, Guevara’s body of work honors and accounts his parent’s homeland experiences of civil war in 1980s El Salvador and the struggles they endured migrating and adapting to Los Angeles culture. Weaved within these experiences is his own personal narrative – prideful recollections of both the fond memories and wounds of his upbringing in Los Angeles. Guevara’s visual reconstruction of these narratives helps him both understand the distress that has shaped his parent’s being, while also illuminating the dimensions of his own identity that have been shaped by inherited trauma. The figures he portrays serve as vessels holding the complexities of memory – from El Salvador to Los Angeles.
Guevara’s use of portraiture work exemplifies his upbringing within its storied images. He manipulates the imagery within the figures by reconstructing past memories and merging them with his current experiences. In addition, family identity plays a major role in the work as he renders both the interior and exterior spaces to address the environments of origin and partly by analogy. Guevara also depicts psychological spaces that interweave from one concept to another, expressing different realities.
One challenge Guevara faced while creating Mi Orgullowas to visually express this body of work while also acknowledging and working through his inherited trauma. This tension drives him to expand the use of multiple depictive modes to illuminate the complexity of the subject matter. He composes figures with a variety of approaches, in some instances portions hold collaged graphic images and along with painterly modes that collide with one another. The images in the collaged areas derive from numerous family picture books and screen-shot images from video clips forming two distinct worlds. The collaged element within the body gives one version of information in one particular style that is in contrast to rendered paintings and drier marks.