ltd @ Efrain Lopez Gallery
ltd los angeles @ Efrain Lopez Projects
Alida Cervantes | Oreka James | Sissòn
Hello hero, hero hello. Hello Hero, Hello hello
Hello hero, hero hello. Hello hero, Hero hello
October 17 – November 10, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 20 | 5-7pm
The stars are above us. So too are the heavens and those that populate them. Look up and see. The sky contains bodies both celestial and saintly, beautiful in their distance and repose, drawing their power from such stunning constancy.
ltd los angeles is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings and drawings that consider the luminary, the figure that lights a path. These three artists consider the saints living among us. In their sainthood, they are with and for us. But there are also saints against us, too-perfect bodies in thick robes restricting the movement of those who look to them, poor examples for a loose and tumbling world.
For Alida Cervantes, depictions of saint are a site to consider contemporary understandings of race, gender, and movement. Drawing on colonial histories of racialization and religious painting, she occludes the sacred not as a defiling but re-filing, a placement into another category. She spins, incises, twists and whips her thickly-applied paint, foregrounding the violence that plays an overlooked role in the lives on the saints. Smooth-skinned holiness is replaced by smashed smudged pigment on wood and cardboard. All that paint covers semantic content, revealing something more tactile, more sculptural.
In considering the communicative aspects of painting alongside traditions of storytelling, Oreka James’s figures have their histories to share. They are histories of incompletion, marking the distance from the past, bodies signaling across a cloudy channel. James dedicates herself to histories that come before, to fragmentation that becomes its own wholeness. For the artist, headlessness (and by extension facelessness) acts as a means to preserve the autonomy of the Black individual in a culture that seeks to monetize and extract.
Sissòn’s figures emerge from history, history that is Black and located in constellations of resistance and defiance to legacies of erasure. In his series of charcoal drawings, many figures stand beneath celestial bodies. Glowing radiant just for them, a sign of cosmic support, the universe ordered in companionship through the night. His line is wandering, it wavers, wiggles, but this line that appears sickly in shaky movements generates a strength. Through the presence of these figures, heroes and lodestars, their present-ness is never in question. They are in their space, it is theirs and they present it to us, allow us to see it with their permission. Sissòn has depicted figures to turn to, figures from the past that speak to a future buttressed through their witness.
This is ltd los angeles’ second pop-up exhibition of 2018, the first being in New York during May. In 2019 ltd los angeles is planning pop-ups in San Francisco, Washington D.C., Antwerp and Mexico City.