Much appreciation to everyone for coming out last night and huge Thank You again to Christina Coleman, Dameon Lester and Marja Spearman with de stijl for your consummate professionalism while hosting us to create “En Bola” allowing us the opportunity to work with three amazing artists (Lisette Chávez Mauro C. Martinez and Jean Sebastien.) Build bridges. Burn walls. – MAG
“de stijl | PODIUM FOR ART is pleased to present “En Bola”, an exhibit featuring Austin collective Los Outsiders working in tandem with a trio of Texas artists.
Using the occasion of this exhibition as an example of the Los Outsiders’ ethos of opportunity-making, “En Bola” pairs each of the Los Outsiders members — Michael Anthony Garciá, Roberto Jackson Harrington and Hector Hernandez — with a different artist.
Garciá, Harrington and Hernandez each invited an artist from outside Austin to collaborate on an art-making venture for “En Bola.”
Garciá will create with Lisette Chavez; Harrington with Jean-Sebastien Boncy and Hernandez with Mauro Martinez.
“We each picked artists whose work we liked and wanted to see more of and artists who haven’t exhibited in Austin before,” said Garciá.
The collaborative art-making of “En Bola” will yield mixed-media installations, manipulated photography and altered paintings.
“En Bola” is a Spanish phrase meaning “a gathered group.”
Explains Garciá: “This exhibit is about creating bridges. All three of us Los Outsiders are Latinos from Texas border towns and so bridges were a part of our lives, connecting us to our culture and family in Mexico. This exhibit is also about the importance of connecting with each other and creating alliances across distances and cultural boundaries to be able to survive in our country’s current political climate.”
Now critically lauded, Los Outsiders began in 2006 as an effort by artists Garciá, Hernandez and then-member Jaime Salvador Castillo to create opportunities in Austin for artists like themselves who were marginalized by culture, race, economics and the city’s circumscribed cultural eco-system.
While each member is an artist with an individual creative practice, together Los Outsiders primarily act as a curatorial collective, organizing exhibits and happenings.
Los Outsiders have curated exhibits and performance events at Houston’s Box 13; the Antigua Aduana in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico; and in Austin at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican-American Cultural Center and with the Fusebox Festival. Collectively, Los Outsiders made a public art project for the city of Austin’s “Drawing Lines” initiative.
Twice Los Outsiders received the Austin Critics’ Table Award for Best Group Show Curation; in 2012 for the “Heir Today Gone Tomorrow” and in 2015 for “Gently Fried.”
With sculpture and public installations made of found-objects (mostly clothing), Michael Anthony Garciá probes trenchant issues of personal and community identity. San Antonio printmaker Lisette Chavez combines prints and print-based installations fusing religious art, medical ephemera and botanical iconography.
The assembled sculpture of mass-produced objects and manipulated digital photographs of Roberto Jackson Harrington are sly subversions of traditional norms. Haitian-born, Houston-based photographer Jean-Sebastien Boncy captures quotidian, over-looked scenes of urban Houston for his open-source archive.
Hector Hernandez’s complexly staged photographs involving the human figure are simultaneously studies in form and provocative micro-stories. In large paintings, Laredo artist Mauro Martinez confronts the singular yet bifurcated geographical and social landscape of the U.S.-Mexico border.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with an essay by art critic Jeanne Claire van Ryzin.”