Jun 28th 2019

Omar Velázquez: Miracle Fruit

@ Corbett vs. Dempsey

2156 W Fulton St, Chicago, IL 60612

Opening Friday, June 28th, from 6PM - 8PM

On view through Saturday, August 17th

In the North Gallery, Corbett vs. Dempsey presents Miracle Fruit, an exhibition of new work by Omar Velázquez. A series of luscious paintings explore the deceptively bright place where tropical surrealism intersects with personal and colonial history, taking as one of its guiding icons the cuatro, a native Puerto Rican stringed instrument – not unlike a mandolin – whose manifold iterations, in form and sound, recall the island’s complex legacies. Shards of tourism, militarism, and industrialism, Spanish and African cultural influences, and pan-Caribbean aesthetics engage the history of the lute as cumulative chronicle of Puerto Rico. As a dimensional ground for his canvases, Velázquez fabricated a cuatro out of the shell of a higüera fruit, one of its seeds serving as the volume knob. Indeed, the fruit itself turns out to be the ur-theme of the show, from its life in the soil, with sensuous manifestations in hue and curve, to its status in traditional, modern, and postmodern culture.

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