Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Portrait de Genocide: A Political Statement

Sal Scolara, an esteemed professor emeritis from The University of Connecticut, wrote these thoughtful words about a mixed media piece created by Pedro Martin DeClet. It was exhibited by my gallery at the American Visionary Art Museum. This large, prestigious work, featured in the museum's catalogue, is available for sale at the gallery.
"Some artists, like Pedro Martin DeClet, have chosen to create political statements that suggest a new-found kinship with oppressed cultural groups and the positive and affirming act of presenting a political statement for the consideration of viewers. DeClet's Portrait de Genocide is a powerful media related work which chronicles the U.S. government's genocide of native American Indians. The artist has lain out a loose grid of some 50 photocopied images (the number corresponding to the number of states in our country) made from archival photographs of famous Indian chiefs and related imagery. Atop this strong, historical gallery of Indian history, the artist has painted a bold, blood-red graphic image suggestive of rock hieroglyphs found in Indian areas of the Southwest. This blood-red colored sign seems to be a target and a tribute, a marker of the passing of these great leaders. DeClet aligns himself with those that would remind us of these ugly scars upon our nation's history. Make no mistake -- it is not simply an artwork of rebellion one sees here, but a truth laid bare -- and some artists have traditionally used their art to comment on society and its ills. This is a positive act of growth and concern, a connecting to something greater that one's immediate situation."

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