Jean Deleage Art Gallery, Los Angeles
The Upright Revolution: A Visual Exhibition
Curated by Jimmy Centenno
Enlightened or Awakening or Rise up 20” x 20”
Acrylic on canvas
Painting by Laura Vazquez Rodriguez
This painting illustrates my interpretation of the short story; Upright Revolution or Why Humans Walk Upright By Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. It is a story about conflict and the human struggle for power. It is about harmony and chaos, life and death, unity and division. This is the story of man’s endurance, his perseverance and his awakening to his life song, as the story goes, we are one body, “us for us” “unity is our power.” Like the story, my painting is a celebration of man’s life song. Fashioned uniquely but united in purpose we must rise up and stand together to protect and serve one another in love. At the bottom of my painting is a lion, strong and beautiful but untamed and dangerous. It is aggressive and competitive. The lion stares across at humanities brokenness, its parts divided and weak. It is prepared to fight but unable to move. Disconnected and crumbling the body is powerless. Above the mound is a man who rises up clothed with the armor of love, unity and strength. He is blanketed in peace. He moves forward on his journey of reconciliation and hope. With a staff in hand he walks across the ruins. Butterflies rise up symbolizing transformation into love, faithfulness and harmony. Just ahead of him are two hearts united flying freely in the sky.
All Body Anthem, mixed media by Damola Adepoju 2019
The manner of expression by the writer of “The Upright Revolution” or “Why Humans Walk Upright” attributes human organs and passions to foster unity and equality. This has inspired this mixed media with the use of old newspapers processed into soft tissues to define the form of the stylized figure ( mandate). Layered unto tonal surface subdued hue of black acrylic and connecting lines, having the dramatic animal spectators and the legs and arms in contest. Luminous white hue harmonized the effect of bold and the short texts with application of a touch of gold depicting “All Body Anthem”.
The Colourful Spectators and Contestants. Acrylic on canvas by Damola Adepoju 2019
A perch at the top gives you below- eye level that captures the sea of heads of the beauty of the colourful spectators that come in peace, with vibrant yellow hue romance with the luxuriant forests rendered in impasto. The juxtaposition of the circle of challenge in the fore ground for the arms and legs to display their possessed skills as they agreed later to Walk Upright. The gloomy earthen browns capture the contest. No venture, no gain, makes animals to stick to their conservative party. This painting is inspired by the short story of The Upright Revolution: or Why Humans Walk Upright.
Upright Revolution 2019 36×48 by Yolanda Gonzalez
In the contest to control the body between the legs and arms an innocence is lost. The Mayan deity becomes the safekeeper of that innocence to be restored upon the restoration of unity.
Identidad y Reconciliacion- Identity and Reconcilation by Mario Avila
Si Seguimos Flotando Pereceremos-If We Continue to Float We Will Persish 29.5×23.5 by Mario Avila by Mario Avila
Mario Avila’s Letter to Ngugi
Querido hermano Ngugi,
Te saludo fraternalmente, y te envió un pequeño relato de mi trabajo sobre el
mi trabajo de arte sobre este hecho.
Guatemala somos un país de 108 mil kilómetros cuadrados, pero con una riqueza enorme culturalmente hablando. Además, contamos con riquezas naturales como petróleo, níquel, cobalto, plata, cobre y además grandes cantidades de oro. Por lo tanto, las grandes trasnacionales, como las oligarquías del país, masacraron a grandes cantidades de la población Maya y mestizos que se oponían a este despojo de nuestra madre tierra.
Para ser un poco exacto, fueron masacrado las poblaciones de más 640 aldeas y los mejores líderes, mujeres y hombres, y dentro de ellos, pintores, poetas y gente de teatro. Más de medio millón de personas fueron asesinadas entre muertos, detenidos y desaparecidos. Por lo mismo, este trabajo representa el genocidio, y es hasta ahora que estamos tratando de articular ese cuerpo que quedó separado y hoy tratamos de juntarlos con manos, brazos, pies y memoria. Cada una de las piezas tienen relación con ese cuento tan bello y profundo que escribiste.
Y es que así África se parece tanto a nuestra historia.
Exprisionero político, tres hermanos asesinados, un tío y dos de mis hijos secuestrados y torturados.
¡Que tu ponencia en Chile sea de mucho éxito!
Dialogo- Dialogue 11×14 by Mario Avila
Genocidio-Genocide 16×60 by Mario Avila
Mesoamerican Totempole Ceramics, 12” x 12” x 24” by Mario A. Hernández
Mesoamerican Totempole covers the symbols and iconography from some of the most predominant civilizations during Mesoamerican times; the sculpture has a representation of one of the earliest groups during the formative period like the Olmecs, the Mayans, and the Aztecs cover the Classic and Post Classic periods. Together the composition pays tribute to the many glorious time periods, in form of a tower of power, it shares the evolution and revolution these cultures endured.
Ica Yollotl (from the heart) Acrylic on Vinyl 31” x 81” by Mario A. Hernández
Ica yollotl (from the heart) was created as a reflection based on The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright, By Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. Every part of the human body has a crucial function that overall allows it to perform and thrive for many years, the flexible capabilities and its elegant crafted figure is a testimony of its incredible potential. Ica Yollotl depicts a freefalling body into the deep blue sea, its irresponsive yet relaxed posture gives you a sense of carelessness. It is a reminder that sometimes you just have to let go and allowing the forces of nature to guide you to your destiny. The heart radiating from the center of the body projects the heartfelt feeling of human kindness and how the heart is also a guide dance to your life path. This composition pays tribute to the human body, from the history of its evolution to its resilience and perseverance.
“The Fall of Man” 2019
Linoleum cut block print on 100% hand made paper from Oaxaca, Mexico.
Image Size: Approx 5”x8”, Paper Size: Approx 9”x13”
The Fall of Man takes place in the story during the contest when the Legs and Arms are issuing challenges to each other. At that time the Body is in a state of disorientation and it becomes uncoordinated and cannot function like it should. The Arms aren’t as strong to do what the Legs can do and the Legs aren’t as nimble to do what the Arms can do. Although the contest was brief the lesson was timeless. Eventually they realized that the best resolution was to unite. Not one limb was better than the other and each set of limbs was good at what it did to help support the rest of the Body. And through this, the “All Body Anthem” was born and the body learned to work together in order to form the revolution, the Upright Revolution!
○ Green Paper 1/1
○ White Paper 4/4
○ Tan Paper 2/3
○ Grey Paper 2/2
You Are Me
48″ X 24″ Oil + Oil-stick on Canvas
By Ramon Ramirez
The painting You Are Me is directly inspired by the story The Upright Revolution, specifically from the song All Body Anthem which is mentioned at the end of the story. In these times, we need to work together and realize that we are one. As the song goes “Beauty is unity…together we work…for a healthy body.” The painting depicts two sets of palm trees, one set is ‘normal’ and the other is ‘inverted’. The lower set of palm tress represent this world and the upper set represents our ancestors or a cosmic connection. I believe that we need to call upon our ancestors to help give us strength to aid us in navigating the tumultuous waters of today’s political climate. I do not exist alone. “Beauty is unity”.
Upright Revolution 2019 by Pedro Rios Martinez
The short Story by Ngugi wa Thiong O’s said so much as humans that we are and how we evolved. The fable of the story ‘Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright, introduces us to how important the body parts function as one and the weight it carries in making decisions about social justice for us all today. My interpretation of the story gave me the opportunity to express my style of painting with small brush strokes adding an African influence of color. This has allowed me to transmit a visual journey to bring attention in uniting fragments of ourselves together.
Beauty is unity by Nolan Fansler
“When the whole body sang “Beauty is unity” I realized that this is exactly what I strive for in my own art. I want every moment and detail to be just as essential as every other part of a painting. Through contrast and harmony most art in general I believe seeks to show the viewer the most essential parts that make a whole, none of which more essential than the other. This breaks down hierarchies or un-limbmanship tendencies encouraging the greater body of society to function with more equality.”
New Direction by Nolan Fansler
Jimmy Centeno [Curator] holds an A.A. in Liberal Arts from East L.A. Community College, a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Cal State L.A., and is concluding a second Masterâ€™s in Art History. He was raised in South Central Los Angeles and is the son of immigrant parents born In Mexico and El Salvador. He is a welder by trade with 20 years of welding experience. His experience as a welder has brought him close day in and day out to many realities across different communities throughout the city of Los Angeles. He has organized art lectures at the Vincent Price Art Museum. He has also participated in international conferences on philosophy and aesthetics. He is currently working with renowned Mexican philosopher Enrique Dussel on de-colonial thought. As an artist he seeks to express himself by using all form of mediums which includes photography, welding, found objects, and painting. His art attempts to narrow the distance between borders, color/race and class. His goal is to bridge and stitch our differences by reducing the distance between us.