Arts & Culture

Artists Celebrate Mexican Independence Day And Frida Kahlo

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Gabriel Rivera’s work displayed on his 9th Street stoop (courtesy of the artist)

PARK SLOPE – Park Slope artist Gabriel Rivera will present an art exhibition on his 9th Street stoop this weekend (September 16-17) to commemorate Mexican Independence Day, pay tribute to the artist Frida Kahlo, and honor the human spirit.

The theme of the upcoming exhibit is The human struggle is the struggle to be human,” he explains, “a tribute to the undying spirit of humanity.”

“Although September 16 marks the calendar for Mexican Independence Day, this exhibit is not intended to be a commemoration of past or present wars, nor is it intended as a gesture of national pride,” Rivera, who was born in Mexico, says. 

In an April 2017 interview with BKLYNER, Rivera described himself as “an activist first and an artist second.” His job is to serve as a “conduit,” he added. “My art is about giving people information.”

Untitled by Gabriel Rivera, “This piece demonstrates the archaic meaning of war; a dead warrior riding a dinosaur. And yet wars continue despite the threat of extinction.” (courtesy of the artist)

“Throughout history, art has been a means to express and create, despite adversity,” he explains. “My goal is to provoke and evoke awareness of cultural history, current social issues, views and ideologies through visual arts and education.”

Rivera previously exhibited a colorful Dia de los Muertos display in October 2016 and a festive Cinco de Mayo presentation this past spring.

Original paintings by Rivera will be on display this weekend as well as his recreation of Frida Kahlo’s garden at her La Casa Azul (Blue House) in Mexico City. As with his other exhibits, Rivera will include placards to inform visitors about the artwork and Mexican Independence Day.

Uta Brauser (courtesy of the artist)

The upcoming exhibition will also feature work by the Williamsburg-based multidisciplinary artist and curator, Uta Brauser. Brauser’s series of portraits of Frida Kahlo celebrates the famed Mexican artist—”her daring energy, her cultural authenticity and yet individuality, standing up as a female,” Brauser states. Kahlo’s life and work encapsulate and embody the human struggle, Rivera adds.

Uta Brauser with her Frida Kahlo mural (courtesy of the artist)

A “culture instigator,” Brauser’s work incorporates visual art, activism, fashion and new media with her “obsession about the human characters, questions of self and the continued dialog and interaction between people.” Her work includes drawing, sculpture, art dolls, installation, and art activism, and has been exhibited in her native Germany, as well as in Italy and the United States.

Gabriel Rivera and Uta Brauser’s work will be on view Saturday, September 16 through Sunday, September 17 at 539 9th Street (between 8th Avenue and Prospect Park West), Park Slope. Learn more at Facebook.

 

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