People thirsting for liberty and safety, crossing a perilous and sometimes arid border, traversing mountains and ravines after journeying through a dust-filled Tijuana, stopping momentarily on the way, gaining nourishment at that town’s autonomous kitchen, Comedor Contra Viento y Marea (the dining room against wind and wave), then walking slowly again northward to a fragile new life in the almost mythic United States. The kitchen is welcomed by these grateful travelers, young, old, fathers, mothers and children, providing them rest, renewal and hot meals during their caminos de ensayos (rehearsal path), as they hold hopes in their hearts for freedom in a new country.
Espacio Pino Suarez is a printmaking workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico, producing works of Mexican as well as American and International artists. The Jalopy
Theatre in New York City just recently displayed four artists from this workshop in “Brooklyn Loves Oaxaca: Printmaking Exhibition @ The Jalopy,” and twenty-five percent of the proceeds from sales of the artwork will be donated to Comedor Contra Viento y Marea, for the benefit of those migrating north.
The workshop was established by Marco Velasco and his partner, Phebe Macrae Corcoran in 2016 in Oaxaca, one of its purposes being to nurture emerging artists, and the works shown here at The Jalopy not only exhibit the art of Espacio Pino Suarez’s founders but also two other artists from the group, Ernesto Gomez and Jeff Tocci. All four of them, printmakers, display works in accomplished etching and aquatint technique providing, primarily, commentary on Latino life’s difficulties.
The majority of these emotional works have a darkness to them with pieces conjuring up for me Francisco Goya or Jiri Anderle’s depictions of phantasm and oppression. In “El Chato,” “Cabeza en Ejido,” “Prohibicion” and “La Detencion de mi tindes” by Velasco, and “Untitled,” by Corcoran, both artists give a strong voice to this realm of shadow and danger. Jeff Tocci approaches this vein with almost sardonic humor in his prints “Thrill Hill,” “The Lion and the Lamb,” “Black Vulture,” and “La Cruda.” In contrast, “Wohoco” and “Cabellosa” by Ernesto Gomez demonstrate some sly mirth.
The artists of Espacio Pino Suarez hail from Oaxaca’s jagged terrain and as such, these creative people know about suffering in life. They empathize with those on
the viaje al norte (trip north), supporting their brothers and sisters as they search for safety and peace. What better way than to care for them with proceeds from this exhibit giving sustenance in solidarity with such a profound quest?