Contemporary Latin American Art at the BAI


Last updated 1/27/2022 at 9:12am

The Borrego Art Institute launched 2022 with the 'Contemporary Latin American Art,' show, Jan 8th -January 30th. Featuring many outstanding works of art, the show was well attended and supported by many sales.

A lovely companion to the show was the Mariachi Mixteco quartet who preformed outside, in-front of the gallery surrounded by an appreciative audience.

Latin American Art, now often referred to by the gender neutral name Latinx, can be loosely defined as art created by artists of Latin American birth or decent who live primarily in the U.S. representing through their art the diversity of Latino communities in the U.S. Powered by a sense of community that permeates daily life and relational, conceptual territories unique to their cultural milieus. Often producing provocative art that tell their stories with authority which is realized in several of the outstanding works in this interesting show.

Two dramatic, large, vibrant works by Weston Riffle, 'Tonight's Hanging,' and 'America Sings' typify Latinx art. Weston describes himself as an, 'anti-artist,' and is known for portraying the beauty and culture of California, specifically the southern agricultural regions.

Weston was born in La Mesa receiving his Bachelor's degree from San Diego State and his masters from San Jose State. Weston describes his art in his artist statement, "I wish to express the simple purity of the people and places I have known. A general theme is the struggle of the individual against forces not clearly understood. " Weston has won a number of awards and has work exhibited in the permanent collection of the Steinbeck Museum.

'Vanity,' by Barbara Rivera, a tribute to 'Dia de los Muertos, is skillfully painted with rich, perfect color balance. Barbara's 'Butterfly Sacred Flight,' depicting several Mexican cultural references is just simple a beautiful work of art, a highly collectible artistic treasure.

Arguable, the show's most striking works are by Tijuana based artist Antonio Proa. Powerful, passionate paintings using what appears to be a usual, complicated drip, drizzling technique for applying the paint. Antonio's 'Wise Man,' is artistically energized, an exciting painting that brought a visual punch to the show.

Plan a visit this is a show not to be missed.

Landscape Vibrations

Jose Luis Nunez

Borrego Art Institute North Gallery, Jan. 8 – Jan. 30

Born in Mexico City, Jose has travelled extensively though out Europe and South America. Jose studied philosophy for which he has a BA and pursed his love of painting that has lead to an award winning career as a artist with over 50 exhibitions around the world.

Jose is a quintessential master of landscape 'Plein Air,' painting and a studio artist. In conversation Jose expressed his attention for detail in his works. People are familiar with the landmark places he often chooses as subjects, especially the Grand Canyon featured in this show. Jose is careful to make sure that the landscape is rendered visually concurrent with the reality of the location and people's memories.

Jose has accomplished adeptly the elusive pursuit for quality of light in his paintings often using the long afternoon shadows of sunset as the light source. Alternatively, and more complicatedly Jose also can paint very subtle, subdued light in works.

'The Abyss, Grand Canyon,' centerpiece of his collection encompasses everything artistically that makes a great landscape painting. This is a masterful collection making for a very pleasurable viewing and collecting experience.