A fusion of international flavors in Framingham
By Chris Bergeron | Daily News Staff
FRAMINGHAM - Hosting its first international show, Fountain Street Fine Art gallery is celebrating local diversity by exhibiting exciting works by Latino artists from around the world.
Featuring several major artists, the new show, “We Are You: New England Edition,″ showcases vivid, sometimes politically charged paintings and photographs by 36 contemporary Latino artists from the U.S., Latin America and Europe.
Since opening their gallery at 59 Fountain St. in an area that’s home to a diverse Latino and Brazilian population, co-founders Marie Craig and Cheryl Clinton said the traveling exhibition seemed like a great fit for their gallery.
“The gallery is located in a century-old industrial building in the heart of downtown Framingham, an area of cultural diversity and transformation,” Craig noted. “We live in an area known for its multiculturalism; we asked ourselves, ‘What can we do to get the conversation going?’“
Hoping to show Latino art, Craig and Clinton contacted the exhibit’s organizers, “We Are International,″ an artistic initiative that’s been featuring work by 36 artists from more than a dozen Latin American countries in shows across the U.S. since 2012. Craig said, “A lot of the artists in this show are world class.″
Visitors will see bold, lively art that, like Latin American literature, incorporates elements of “magical realism″ such as improbable juxtapositions, allegory and fantasy.
Fusing Pop Art with an ironic references to the Old Masters, Mel Ramos is showing “Fraulein French Fries,″ depicting a blonde Anglo beauty rising, like Botticelli’s Venus, from a box of French fries. Tejano artist Joe Pena challenges viewers to confront their own biases with his in-your-face oil painting of a tattooed immigrant whose appearance might conform to their stereotypes of a gang member.
Jose Rodeiro’s oil painting of a lovely Latina sleeping in a fairy tale lake surrounded by butterflies and ancient carvings hearkens to old images of romance “south of the border.″
Several artists have created provocative images that attack or satirize what they regard as xenophobic opposition to immigration.
In Ricardo Fonseca’s fantastical digital photograph, “An Act of Love,″ a man dressed as a mariachi musician “plays″ the trunk of an elephant like a trumpet. Standing near a border fence meant to thwart immigration, the elephant wears a blanket that resembles the state flag of Texas.
Framing his dramatic illustration within a YouTube screen, Gabriel Navar depicts an angry man about to swing a club at a green space creature beside a speech balloon stating, “Go back to where you came from, alien.″ The message is clear: Some people regard immigrants from south of the U.S. border as the equivalent of extraterrestrials who must be beaten back to protect the nation’s interests.
Several participants are showing powerful images that transcend cultural differences.
In a pair of striking acrylics, Ecuadorian-American artist Pablo Caviedes creates evocative images of horse-headed figures riding bulls, facing one another in fields of blue and red that evokes a dreamlike, if inscrutable atmosphere.
The exhibit, which opened on June 19, also included a poetry reading on June 22 and the screening of a documentary film about the project on June 25, at Amazing Things Arts Center.
Fountain Street Fine Art collaborated with Framingham Downtown Renaissance to help local Latino and Brazilian artists show their work at several downtown venues. The artists are showing their work at five downtown eateries, each with a different ethnic cuisine.
The exhibitors include:
Juan DelMoral at Frescafe, 82 Concord St.
Monica Nino and Sandra Simoes at La Casa del Cicharron, 18 Irving St.
Janine Schmitt at a storefront, 16 Irving St.
Martha Fuentes at Pho Dakao, 101 Concord St.
Luiz Rodriquez at Jack’s Abby Brewing, 81 Morton St.
Felipe Zamora at Amazing Things Arts Center, 160 Hollis St.
“We Are You: New England Edition″
WHEN: Through Aug. 3
WHERE: Fountain Street Fine Art, 59 Fountain St., Framingham
INFO: 508-879-4200; www.fountainstreetfineart.com
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