I, Like You
Opening: Saturday, September 10, 2022, 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Inspiration, like identity, is ever evolving. As a result, the connection between artist, artwork, and viewer is forever in flux. The contemporary artists featured in “I, Like You” explore personal identities, experiences, and values through the lens of an increasingly interconnected global society. For these artists, the creative process is a way to uncover characteristics that determine personal identity and discover how it coexists within a larger societal or global context. With connections to attributes like gender, sexuality, race, nationality, and heritage, contemporary artists drive the conversation on how the diversity of individual experience may contribute to or challenge the notion of a singular, universal human identity.
Centering his mixed-media artworks within his identity as a person of color who lives in an evolving “global environment”, Emeka Udemba creates figurative artworks which offer space for speculations, the free flow of ideas, discoveries, and transformation. Udemba’s artworks revolve around issues of “otherness”. He creates images weaving together materials and fragments that invite us to question and reimagine new landscapes of memory, history, the present, and the future. These artworks speak beyond the geographies of hierarchy, power, conquest, and dominance. They allude to landscapes where we can all celebrate humanity and our differences.
Graffiti-Cubist artist Nico Amortegui states, “My art is rooted in the experience of becoming an immigrant – something I didn’t want to imagine at age 17 when Bogotá was all I knew. Being forever between two cultures has shaped my views and molded the themes of my pieces.” Amortegui begins each of his figurative artworks as an abstract expression of colors, and once his background is complete, a figure appears to him in the abstraction. He then begins transforming his subject with the left eye of his painted figure allowing this eye to lead the rest of his composition as he adds and conceals layers of color and texture.
Mohamad Khayata’s works are the result of ten years of displacement and deal with themes of migration, memory, and identity. His work is a tribute to displaced people whose stories are filled with effort, hope, and serene melancholy. Born in Damascus, Syria, artist Mohamad Khayata was forced to flee his home country due to ongoing political conflict. He has been living and working in Beirut, Lebanon since 2012.
The sculptures of Swedish artist Eva Larsson explore societal standards and social hierarchy versus the liberation and courage of the individual. Her figurative ceramic sculptures interact as a mediation of social interaction and place the individual within the context of a greater social and historical composite. Larsson’s raku-fired ceramic figures are coveted for their striking intimacy and rarity, as her process is complex and the outcome is unpredictable. Each piece is hand formed, unique, and individually pulled from the kiln while glowing hot.
Christina Major is a portrait painter interested in the ways the identity of both artist and subject can coexist in a painting. Major expands on traditional portrait painting by cataloging her memories and thoughts along with the thoughts of the subject—at times recording quotes from the person depicted—by painting under, into, and over the subject in her handwriting. Major’s hand is visible both in the brushstrokes and in the cursive writing, preserving her identity in a “readable” way both literally and through graphology, or handwriting analysis.
Since the opening of Artplex Gallery in 2018, the gallery continues to be one of the world's leading art galleries specializing in high-quality, original contemporary art representing a broad spectrum of major international artists. Right at home in West Hollywood and within immediate proximity to its sister gallery Artspace Warehouse, Artplex Gallery is an expansive modern space that specializes in international urban, pop, graffiti, figurative, and abstract art catering to the visual impact.