If Tejana superstar, role model to Latin@s worldwide, and befallen goddess Selena Quintanilla was still alive today, she would be 42 on Tuesday. To immortalize the legacy of Selena, visual artist and activist, Ernesto Yerena has created a silkscreen portrait of one of our community’s most lamented figures, so I begin this week of art events with wishing musical artist Selena a Happy birthday!
Yerena has also recently collaborated with Chicano folk singer Sixto Rodriguez on a silkscreen portrait that will accompany Rodriguez on his music tour, which just stopped in NYC last Monday. Rodriguez’s life story is the focus of the oscar-winning documentary ‘Searching for Sugarman.’ This collaboration between two generations of Chicano artists makes for interesting art and a valuation of musical and artistic history that’s often lost in the eaves.
On the note of artistic collaborations, a new exhibit at the Americas Society is opening Thursday about the art generated from a personal friendship between visual artist Xul Solar and writer Jorge Luis Borges. Solar’s paintings are a cataclysm of mysticism, mathematics, and allusions to indigenous symbolism while Borges is a prolific philosopher and forerunner of magic realism. These Argentineans sought to create a new language, a new semiology, something deeply Argentinean and Latin American, yet universal. Couples like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Tarsila do Amaral and Oswald de Andrade, or even van Gogh and Gauguin, show us how the reaction of two temperaments can spawn powerful creations. The show will include paintings, objects, publications and other works produced both independently and collaboratively. The show will open Thursday April 18th and run through July 20th.Americas Society 680 Park Avenue New York, NY
“I guess I am not a Minimalist, but rather a Mulata,” says artist Zilia Sánchez, who at 85 years old is having her first survey exhibit in the U.S. at downtown Manhattan’s Artist’s Space. Sanchez’s work is a striking combination of painting and sculpture. The canvases of her paintings are stretched in strange ways to produce shadows and bodily movement creating ambiguous topographies. Sánchez was born in Cuba in 1928 but since 1972, lives and works out of Puerto Rico. She was part of the pre-revolutionary, Anti-Batista movement in Cuba, designing stage sets for theatre troupes. Sánchez was also one of the founders of Zona de Carga, a Puerto Rican literary journal, that gave a platform to marginalized Latin American writers and poets. Saturday, April 20 from 6-8pm, make your way downtown for some cheese, wine, and to see the work of one of the harbingers of Latin American minimalism.Artists Space 38 Greene Street 3rd Floor
The NYPL for the Performing arts will be hosting a traveling exhibit that aims to reveal how “Latino” genres of music like rumba, salsa, mambo, and cha-cha-cha have influenced mainstream American staples like jazz, hip hop, r&b, and rock n roll. The multimedia exhibit includes listening stations, a jukebox, and films. It focuses on 5 major US city centers: New York, San Francisco, LA, Miami and San Antonio. The show opens April 20th. In conjunction with the exhibit, grammy-nominated artist Bobby Sanabria will be performing with his ensemble Quarteto Aché on April 17th at 6pm. He will also give a presentation on the musical history of Latinos in New York.New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center 40 Lincoln Center Plaza New York, NY 10023