Thursday, October 8, 2009
Pedro Martin DeClet has come a very long way since his stint as head of the Latin Kings gang in the CT prison system. His works are now on display in the American Visionary Art Museum's newest show, Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness, curated by Roger Manley. Declet's Portrait de Genocide honors past martyrs in both the American Indian and Hispanic culture and is a powerful work with it's bleeding pictograph placed center stage. In another room is a hand-made book filled with paintings and paperwork which reflect his disavowal of the infamous gang, along with an altered book, a cross sculpture and a canvas carrying bag sporting a self-portrait. There is also a construction called El Philosopher which is made up of a time clock together with time cards hand painted by the artist. Pedro Martin DeClet is a man who does not look back, but rather reflects on a positive future. I thank Roger Manley for having an open mind and including these important works in his stellar show. It will run for close to a year and is worth the visit to the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, where the AVAM sits like a dazzling crowning jewel.
Photos courtesy of Roger Manley, curator