El Taller Latino Americano 215 E. 99th Street, New York, NY 10029
(212) 665-9460

Past Exhibits at El Taller: 2002 and 2003

Miguelangel Ruiz: Ancient Gods - Paintings, Drawings, Mixed Media

November 2003

Mr. Ruiz' work is both abstract and narrative-based. His work consists of iconic references to legends, and folktales from various mythologies, histories, and religions. He seeks to create unified narratives by combining seemingly disparate narratives from different storytelling traditions. Mr. Ruiz believes that an inclusive and internationalist sense of identity is the key towards a brighter future.

According to the Chinese calendar, the year 2004 will be the Year of the Monkey. Mr. Ruiz' most recent body of work is an homage to the Legend of the Monkey King as retold in the books, Monkey by Arthur Whaley, and Journey to the West by David Kherdian (both translations of the original Chinese written by Wu Ch'eng-en in the 1500's). Monkey symbolizes the restless rebelliousness inherent in the Human soul. The monkey has also come to symbolize the concept of Evolution and Origins.

Mr. Ruiz has been involved in the Visual Arts as a curator, teacher, writer, as well as painter for many years. He has exhibited widely throughout New York City and has received a 2003 BRIO Award from the Bronx Council on the Arts, New York for Outstanding Draughtsmanship. This will be his first solo show.

Oscar Frasser: Afrodescendientes Colombianos

October 2003

My first visit to San Basilio de Palenque, in Colombia, was indescribably magical. Ironically, I learned about this place during a conference in New York. I felt a little embarrassed that I had never known about this important part of Colombian history. This inspired my search for this place: a place with its own language (known to linguists as Palenquero), music, culture and traditions.

The village is inhabited by descendants of the Maroons, runaway black Africans. They fought for more than a century against the cruelty of slave owners in Cartagena de Indias, considered to be the main port of entry during the time of African slave trade in America. San Basilio de Palenque traces its origins to the second half of the seventeenth century, when the descendants of black Africans, the authorities of Cartagena as well as those representing the Spanish monarchy entered into a treaty that would appease the tensions. After numerous meetings and the spilling of much ink and blood, the Palenqueros of San Basilio were finally able to settle on circumscribed territory and built a unique world, parallel to that of the Spaniards.

The photographs in this exhibit are but an excuse to expose other cultures to another aspect of the rich heritage found in Latin America. We shall witness through this photographic journey day to day life in San Basilio. In its characters one may find identities both fragmented and whole, fixed or ever changing, simultaneously immediate and remote, familiar as well as bathed in mystery: unique, but somehow universal. Colombian born Oscar Frasser has been photographing in excess of ten years. His works have appeared in many group shows in New York, Colombia and Cuba. He has received numerous honors and awards for his efforts. El Taller is pleased to present him in his first solo exhibition in New York.

Pablo Araya: Collages

August - September 2003

Ric Pliego: Visual Koans

June-July 2003
Like stucco walls splashed with color and embellished with light and shadow, these paintings by Ric Pliego invoke the boldness of Mexican architecture rendered with the skill of a fine craftsman and the sentiment of rebirth.

"My paintings emerge from the exploration of the ambiguous relationship between abstraction and figuration and the interplay of form and color to express deep feelings, emotions and the iconic reality of sacred and secular symbols. My journey takes me deep into some place inside my soul where inner reality becomes outer form in a way that these visions become tangible realities."
Ricardo Pliego was born in Mexico and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in architecture. In L.A. he worked as a draftsman/designer until he found Art Center College of Design, where he majored in Advertising/Illustration. After graduation he moved to New York, working as an Art Director, Designer, Illustrator and Photographer for numerous large advertising agencies, but mostly for his own company. As the world of advertising design changed, he left the field of commercial art to devote his time to painting as a means of self re-discovery.

Ramon Peralta: Subway

May-June 2003

"Subway", uses the imagery of the New York City Subway system to discuss this mundane experience and charge it with insight and significance. Ramon Peralta "designs an invisible line that unites and separates the human being from the everyday." (Patricia Ramirez)

"There in the sub-world, through his art work, the human being recovers perspective of existence, figurative expression achieved with aesthetic lyricism." (Luis Lenor).

Ramon Peralta was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. He is a graduate of the School of Fine Arts. Currently he is a resident of New York City, which enables him to be a frequent visitor to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There, Mr. Peralta finds his inspiration through the works of classical and baroque paintings. He has received recognition for his exhibitions in the Dominican Republic and in the US.

Peruvian Colors: Paintings by Six Peruvian Artists:

Consuelo Amat y Leon, Urbano Astuyauri, Zenaida Cajahuaringa,Maritza Danos, Alberto Herrera and Silvia Huerta
March - April 2003

The spirit of Peru is found in the work of its artists. These creative voices bring together this vast land whose link is in its geographic, social and racial diversity.

This exhibition gathers the works of 6 Peruvian artists and celebrates a rich cultural heritage. It is a chance to experience a small sample of the contemporary works being made in Peru. The work demonstrates an array of styles and traditions seen with in the strokes, shades, light, color, strength, and enthusiasm; this is an image of Peru, mestizo in essence and universal in projection.

Yube Ortiz: Color Y Forma

January - February 2003

In "Color Y Forma" we find paintings that are a study in the themes of art and nature.  Yube Ortiz is influenced by the works of the Aztec, Mixtec, Mayan and other Pre-Hispanic cultures. He uses the symbols of the elements of nature in an explosion of color and form.  "The artist fills his paintings with contemporary visual experiences: there is war, destruction, despair, deception, but there is also enthusiasm and amazement about life." (Paul Vaussane)

Yube Ortiz was born and raised in Mexico City.  He has studied painting, sculpture, lithography and drawing in Mexico City and Paris, France. His work has been widely exhibited in Mexico, France and Switzerland.  This will be his first exhibition in NYC.

Gabriela Zamorano: South and East: Fragments
Rural Images from the South of Mexico and Palestine

October -- November 2002

Now, frozen in paper, they became memories. Like memory, they take shape in fragments. South and East. South Rural Mexico and Palestine. Although at a distance they seem alike. Or perhaps the sights that remained in these images, like memories, allow us to trace a bridge. Daily life. A smile. An important thing to have with you while you pose for a picture. A family meal. A frozen piece of a song. An interrupted game at the Palestinian sea - one that is both beach and border. Crowded refugee camps and abandoned corn fields emptied by poverty and migration. South and East. Life goes on, it still happens there. These are just images in an attempt to invoke as fragmented memories, the dignity of lives that have become disposable within the absurd games of economic wars.
Gabriela Zamorano

Gabriela Zamorano was born and raised in Mexico City. She studied social communication as well as journalism, video and ethnographic photography. In 1993, she began communications projects at a prison, then later in indigenous communities in Chiapas.

After University, she moved to Oaxaca where she worked for a civil organization (Transparencia S.C.) on a research project about the impact of government policies on the indigenous population. In 1998, she was invited by the women's commission of a regional organization (Union de Comunidades Indigenas de la Zona Norte del Istmo) to create a communication center. During a period of two years she worked to develop a series of workshops with local indigenous women.

It was in that time that she worked on photographic essays that include: rural campesino daily life in Oaxaca and Chiapas, traditional parties and musicians, and labor in garbage dumps around urban areas. In 1998, Gabriela also went to Palestine and photographed families, which for her reflected similar circumstances to what she saw in Mexico.

Currently Ms. Zamorano is a candidate for Ph.D. in Anthropology at the City University of NY. Her academic interests focus on the construction of political identities in the South of Mexico.

"My academic and professional interests are deeply inspired and rooted in my photographic practice, which to me represents a personal and intimate connection to the people that I work with and that makes me believe that the world can become a different place."

Ricardo Blanco Gonzalez: Painting, Prints and Cuts

September 2002
Ricardo Blanco Gonzalez began painting when he was three years old. Since then, painting, and creating art in general, has been his refuge. His talents were noticed early, and he received a scholarship to St. Louis University for his accomplishments in art. After studying for two years, he left to work independently.

During the following five to six years he worked more on poetry than painting. He calls his poems "HIKE - OOZE"

Someone is laughing
The smile lingers beyond time
I don't follow minds.

His work is about memory. "Colors from European stained glass in childhood trips to churches. Vietnamese suffering (on the television), images of the earth as it was first seen as whole - and its destruction. " There is a physical and emotional component to the work. The two are used singularly as a means to express the complexity of Mr. Blanco Gonzalez's experience. We sense his need to find grounding through his use of color and stroke. This has the effect of seeing them as one sees the city at night - driving quickly through rainy streets - leaving only a stream of color and line behind: impressions. These works are a colorful journey for the eye, and yet their beauty is deeper because they evoke the mystery of the emotional world.

Mr. Gonzalez lives and works in Winetka, Illinois. This will be his first exhibition at the Grady Alexis Gallery.

LIFE TRACK: Paintings and Sculpture by Rosa, Siu-Mui Tog

July - September 2002
Rosa, Sui-Miu Tong has studied painting, drawing, Chinese Oracle writing, Stone Engraving, Stone Carving and wood Carving. This multitalented artist will exhibit her works for the first time in New York City at the Grady Alexis Gallery mid-July through mid-September. The works are aesthetically pleasing and lend themselves to another level of discourse through color and form. Her paintings are an interesting mix of formality and spontaneity. The same tension applies to her stone sculptures where the forms refer to the classical yet unexpectedly take ones eye on an exploration that is unique .

An avid traveler, Tong has an eclectic vocabulary of form: we find influences of the impressionist masters, classical Chinese calligraphy and organic form. Rosa, Siu-Mui Tong was born in Hong Kong. Under British rule, the environment was a diverse cultural experience where East met West. In 1982, she was inspired to create her first water color painting. She discovered an innate ability to design with color that later would land her a design position with a German garment importer. This job cultivated her color sensibility and enabled her to travel to broaden her cultural experience.

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