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

Past Exhibits at El Taller: 2005

The Shadow is the Masterpiece< Herberto Turizzo Anaya

November - December 2005

Turizzo was born in 1952 in El Limon, Colombia, a small town by a river. At the age of two, he was taken to live with his grandmother and great-grandmother, who were natural healers in a jungle area. He writes:
"My early childhood years were spent in a lush tropical environment surrounded by animals of many different species. Growing up there I was exposed to cultural traditions of several indigenous groups, the Aracuas, the Cogi, and the Chibchas.

"At the age of five I began to draw in the sand with a stick such things as animals, trees, and airplanes. At the age of 8½ years, my mother came and took me to the city of Baranquilla, quite a change from living in the country. Shortly after that my grandmothers died months apart from each other.

"In 1961 the name of my town was changed from El Limon to Campo Seacaucus. The petroleum industry came there. Companies are now exploring for coal.

"My first oil painting, painted at sixteen, and inspired by an image in a magazine, was of the Rhine River in Germany.

"I believe that inside every object there exist more objects; reality is not just the physical world. In my paintings the air and water are clean. I try to paint the perfect ecology.

"My collectors in Colombia, many of whom are from the Jewish community, say that my landscapes remind them of the promised land. "

Turizzo moved to New York in 1981. His paintings have been shown and sold throughout South and Central America, as well as in the United States, England, Spain, Monaco and Switzerland. In 2003 alone he exhibited at the Colombian Consulate in New York City, the New York Public Library, and Art Expo International at the Jacob Javits Center. He has also created murals for public spaces. In 1998 his mural for the MTA was transferred to the lobby of Hostos Community College.

The artist now lives and works in the Hudson Valley town of Kent, New York.

The Pitcher Festival: Photographs by Augusto Salinas

from his ongoing project of India's Kumbh Mela Festivals
October 2005
Salinas Salinas
Augusto Salinas comes from Tucuman, Argentina at the foothills of the Andes. He started making photographs with his father's camera at the age of fourteen. A New Yorker since 1990, he is a staff photographer with Davis Studio in Mamaroneck.

In 1998 Salinas made his first fateful trip to India. Thus began a passionate relationship realized through the camera lens. He says:
"I traveled throughout the subcontinent, absorbed and bewildered by the contrast of its radiant soil, picturesque temples, and spirituality of life, with its people's poverty and vulnerability to everyday life tragedies. My photographic quest has taken me to many holy places... but nothing prepared me for what I was to witness and photograph at the greatest of India's mass immersion rituals, the Maha Kumbh Mela of 2001. In just forty-four days fifty million people visited Allahabad, searching for purification!

"Every visit to India imposes a new experience, a new discovery, a new awakening. My ongoing project to photograph the Kumbh Mela Festivals started in 1998 at the Mela in Hardwar, continued in 2001 at Allahabad and in 2004 at Ujjain. In 2007 I will go to Nasik to photograph the fourth and the last of the Kumbh Melas to complete my work on this ancient ceremony: The Pitcher Festival."

The Woogie and Woogiela Series by George Serrano

September 2005
Serrano George Serrano is a self-taught artist living in New York City. He is of Puerto Rican and Jewish descent. He has participated in numerous group shows as well as solo exhibits in colleges, public libraries and galleries. Most recently, his works have been displayed at the Consulado General de Peru, the United Nations (through the Latin Workshop Society), the International Dominican Center (New York), the Art Gallery of the Colombian Consulate, the Multi-Cultural Club at Hunter College and in galleries in Madrid, Spain.

Oil paint is Serrano's preferred medium and he enjoys experimenting with its unlimited color combinations and textures. His work has been influenced by artist friends of his as well as by the works of Modigliani, Turner, Cezanne and Chagall. He believes they have reflected their true feelings and emotions through their usage of color on canvas.

On "Woogie & Woogiela," Serrano says: "The series of paintings concerns the 'woogie' and 'woogiela.' imaginary creatures from the bedtime stories my mother would tell me when I was a child. One story concerned a comet with a tail so long it touched the earth, causing woogies and woogielas to fall upon it. The woogies and woogielas would run off and seek out sleeping children, whom they would then spirit away to dreamland where the children would play, laugh and sing. The children fortunate enough to be visited by woogies were so tired by their adventures that they would sleep the night away.

"These paintings are dedicated to my grandchildren Alexis and Emmie, who have brought me so much happiness, and whose laughter reminds me of the stories my mother told me to try to make me fall asleep."

A Preview of the Angelo Romano Museum at El Taller

August 2005
Romano  Romano

The quintessential works of Angelo Romano, El Taller's Artist-in-Residence, including paintings never before shown, will be on on exhibit through the month of August.

Angelo Romano's paintings are in the Museo de Arte de Ponce (Puerto Rico), El Museo de Arte Popular de Madrid (España), El Museo de Barrio (NYC) as well as in private collections throughout the world. He is best known for his angels, small protective talismans that he distributes freely to all, and for his murals which decorate many public spaces in Europe and the United States.

RomanoBorn in Spain, Romano left his native country as a young man, travelling the world as a sailor in the merchant marine. He began to paint while living in Brazil. There he was asked to decorate several boats by a Brazilian captain. He has been painting ever since.

An art collector from the United States who saw this early work bought many of Angelo's paintings and brought the artist to the U.S. in 1968. Since then Angelo has produced a vast body of work. In addition to his canvases and his relief sculptures, he has made theater sets, frescos, totems, masks and furniture. His work emphasizes the importance of recycling and the frugal use of available materials. Angelo paints bottles, old shoes, used frying pans; he rescues from the trash what others throw away and transforms it into art. His largest projects have been accomplished for the most part with recycled materials. Alternately nostalgic, delirious, political and simply delightful, Angelo Romano's work defies categorization.


Museo de la Villa, Madrid, Spain (1994-95)
Museo de Arte Popular, Albacete, Spain (1994-95)
Museo del Barrio, New York, NY (permanent collection)
Museo Gregorio Prieto, Valepeñas, Spain (1993)
Museo Nestor las Palmas, Islas Canarias, Spain (1991)
Museo de Arte Popular, Jene, Spain (1988)
Museo Teresiña, Marañon, Spain (1985)
Museo de Arte De Ponce, Ponce, Puerto Rico (1973)
Museo de Bellas Artes, Bello Horizonte, Brazil (1967)
Museo de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1966)
Museo Provincial, Logroño, Spain (permanent collection)

Perspective: the artworks of Pedro Gaston

July 2005
Gaston Pedro Gaston was born in San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic in 1963. Before coming to the United States, he studied for several years in the Dominican Republic at the Bellas Artes art school. In 1992, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Herbert H. Lehman College. He has also received a Master's of Science in Education from Fordham University. He currently works for the NYC Board of Education.

Mr. Gaston's preference is for painting in acrylic. According to the artist, both music and his homeland have been great influences on his style of painting. He states: "I submit myself to the melodies, and let the notes flow in my veins, dictating how and what my hands should be illustrating." Many of his paintings also portray the scenery of the Caribbean, which is diverse, passionate and filled with color. His landscapes often include scenes of farms and other imagery typical of, especially, the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic.

This is Mr. Gaston's first exhibit at El Taller.

Flamenco: the moment

Photographs by Kathleen Derzipilski
June 2005

Flamenco is a form of a quest. It compels me to look for something I do not know. Dance, flamenco: you go to it, you go again. There is no choice. Each time is different. It is in the present. Flamenco is alive, changeable, individual. It is inward, singular, durable. Something happens and you are happy; someone says something and you are sad. You don't know when it is going to happen again. You don't want to miss any of it.

I have studied flamenco for years. I am familiar with flamenco's rhythms and dance movements. And, I have been looking and photographing for years. It became natural for me to want to photograph flamenco dancers and to bring what is musical, physical, and personal into a visual image.

A friend who teaches flamenco was kind enough to let me photograph her class, and the dancers knew me and allowed me photograph them. I photographed them in black-and-white and used a 35 mm camera. I later began to use a large format camera to photograph individual dancers.

Northern Lights: Images by Montreal Artist Nikol Drouin

May 2005
Nikol Drouin was raised in Ottawa, Canada. She is a graduate of York University's School of Fine Arts, where she notably worked with master printmakers Eugenio Tellez and Antonio Frasconi. After art school, she settled in Montreal to teach and paint. An interest in Latin cultures led her to travel through Latin America-Mexico, Peru, Chile, Brazil-where she discovered a style of image-making which had a strong impact on her own, figurative, metaphorical, and colorful. Nikol has created murals and exhibited her paintings in Toronto, Montreal, New York City and Cuba.

"Making images, drawing lines and spreading color on empty surfaces, the craft of painting, is as vital to me as breathing and loving. It is a means by which I can tap into emotions, in my own heart or in that of the world around me, in order to retrieve them and lend them meaning through beauty, a semblance of spiritual order. I paint people mainly, but as quasi mythological figures in elemental settings-water, air, fire earth. Objects of the real world are reinvented in visual metaphors for mountains, cities, forests and oceans. The colors are bright in my mind's eye: I wish them ever brighter and bolder, inspired by Hendrix and Bjork, soundmakers of raw emotion."

The opening reception will feature soundtrack by composer/musician Denis Ferland, founding member of Montreal rock group SAS-31.

Mauricio Ushiña A.: Carnaval Indígena (photography and dance)

April 2005
Ushina Ushina Ushina

The objective of the artistic project "Carnaval Indígena" (photography and dance) is to share with the North American community that of the indigenous Kañari culture from Ecuador.

The theme of the photography exhibit focuses on the most important moments of the Carnaval Indígena Kañari ritual celebration. The exhibit features images that were captured each February for approximately 4 years.

The artist: Mauricio Ushiña A. is an indigenous KITU KARA self-taught photographer. He began photographing in 1995 and since then has had various individual and collective exhibitions in his country and abroad (Cuzco - Peru / New York - USA / Madrid - Spain).

The project also aims to invite the participation of indigenous peoples of the US so that they may have a space in which to reflect on their own traditions. In this manner, there will be an understanding of identity, organization, and the creation of individual spaces for developing self-esteem.

The Ethno-musical group "Danzantes Tradicionales de Cañar" was formed in 2001 in Kito. Its creation came about as a response to the Kañari community traditions being lost to acculturation and emigration.

The group is made up of traditional dancers that have inherited this ritual from a young age. For some time the group has not promoted itself because the ritual comes from a spontaneous celebration of the community. Now their interest is to make this tradition known and to share it with other communities.

The group comes from an investigative process about its culture. Dialogues with older generations have been very important for knowing about customs and about the myth of the carnival.

The whole project is a FUSION OF DANCE AND PHOTOGRAPHY, all with the symbolism of the traditional dance TAYTA CARNAVAL. The TAYTA CARNAVAL is an integral part and possesses many elements that explain the Kañari culture.

THE MYTH OF THE DANCE (What the images and the choreography of the dancers explore)
This is a (non folkloric) dance ritual in existence for thousands of years through which one sees the relationship that the indigenous Kañari communities of the kichwa nationality (seated in el Chinchaysuyu or wrongly named Ecuador) live in harmony with la Pachamama (mother earth) and the cosmos. It is a way of expressing el "AYNI" or Reciprocity, a law in existence for thousands of years and still accepted presently in the Andean world and in many indigenous communities of the continent.

In this dance the wisdom of the grandparents has been passed down from generation to generation. It is a traditional magical and religious celebration in which the "Tayta Carnaval" (or the father spirit of the land) participates, a character that wears a dressing of various Andean symbols, among them the Condor, the most representative. This father spirit goes with another spirit "Jarkay" that represents Hunger. This combination of spirits goes from community to community, house to house, singing together with the traditional instruments like el Pingüino (specialty of flute) and drums. They sing songs that are show their appreciation to agricultural cycle and other vital cycles.

Those who have received the carnival spirit with a table full of foods from their area will have a good harvest and those who don't do it, will be visited by hunger.

The dancer that concentrates the most energy in his song and his dance will be best attended to.

El Proyecto artístico "Carnaval Indígena" (fotografía y danza) tiene como objetivo compartir la cultura indígena Kañari de Ecuador con los pueblos de Norte América.

El tema de la exposición fotográfica describe momentos más importantes de la Fiesta ritual del Carnaval Indígena Kañari. La muestra trae imágenes que fueron captadas durante aproximadamente 4 años cada mes de Febrero.

El artista: Mauricio Ushiña A. fotógrafo indígena KITU KARA, autodidacta. Empezo con la fotografía en el año 95, desde entonces ha realizado varias exposiciones individuales y colectivas en su país y fuera de él (Cuzco - Peru / New- York E:U./ Madrid- España).

El proyecto pretende además invitar a los indígenas residentes en los Estados Unidos para que tenga un espacio donde puedan reflexionar sobre sus tradiciones y de esta manera den continuidad a su identidad, se organicen y creen un espacio propicio para alimentar su autoestima.

El grupo de Etno-música "Danzantes Tradicionales de Cañar", se formo en el 2001 en Kito. Su creación surge en vista de que la tradición del pueblo Kañari se esta perdiendo debido a la aculturación, a la emigración, etc.

Son danzantes tradicionales que han heredado desde muy niños este ritual. Por mucho tiempo no han hecho difusión del grupo, porque es una fiesta espontánea de la comunidad. El interés ahora es hacer conocer y compartir esta tradición con otros pueblos.

El grupo viene de un proceso de investigación sobre su cultura. El dialogo con los abuelos ha sido muy importante para saber sobre las costumbres y sobre el mito del carnaval.

El proyecto en conjunto es una FUSION DE DANZA Y FOTOGRAFIA todo con el simbolismo del la tradicional danza TAYTA CARNAVAL, Esta es una propuesta integral que tiene muchos elementos que explican esta cultura.

EL MITO DE LA DANZA (Referencia de lo que tratan las imágenes y la coreografía de los danzantes)
Esta es una danza ritual milenaria (no folclórica) a través de la cual se evidencia la relación que los indígenas del pueblo Kañari de la nacionalidad kichwa (asentados en el Chinchaysuyu o mal llamado Ecuador) mantienen con la Pachamama (madre tierra) y el cosmos. Es una manera de expresar el "AYNI" o Reciprocidad. Ley milenaria que esta marcada hasta la actualidad en el mundo andino y en muchos pueblos originarios del continente.

En esta danza esta latente la sabiduría de los abuelos que se ha transmitido de generación en generación. Festividad mágico religiosa originaria en la que participa el "Tayta Carnaval" (o espíritu de la tierra), personaje que lleva una vestimenta cargada de varios símbolos andinos entre ellos el mas representativo el Cóndor. De manera implícita va con el espíritu del "Jarkay" que representa el Hambre. Esta dualidad va de comunidad en comunidad, de casa en casa, cantando junto a los instrumentos tradicionales como son el Pingüino(especie de flauta) y la caja o tambor. Cantos que son agradecimientos al ciclo vital y agrícola.

Quien haya recibido al espíritu del carnaval con una mesa llena de alimentos de su zona recibirá buenas cosechas y quien no lo haga será visitado por el hambre.

El danzante que mas energía concentra en su canto y su danza, será el mejor atendido.


Artwork by Vickie Gonzalez:"Sirena Azurre"

March 2005

When asked about who she is as an artist and the genesis of her works, Vickie Gonzalez states,
"The first thing that comes to mind is light. A light that is vast and allows me to create an expression. I was an artist child and loved to create. Both my brother and sister were exceptionally talented artists and were a strong influence in my path. My parents did not encourage my artistic talents but rather my academic gifts. I then stored away my paintings. But, as the saying goes, 'What you put in the dark will one day come into the light.' Five years ago I began to paint. It was a journey just to explore and express my feelings. I also began to acknowledge the artist hunger that was growing. As I continued to paint my friends became the driving force of encouragement. Today I dedicate my art and my first exhibit to my friends who encouraged me to paint and asked me to paint pieces for them. I would especially like to thank my friend Bernardo Palombo for his love and support. I have never gone to art school or had any training in art. I have been greatly influenced by the works of Frank Frazetta, El Greco and my favorite Frida Kahlo. I also benefited from watching Bob Ross and consider him the only art teacher. I came to paint because it was inside of me and I had to give birth to it. My style is creation of my feelings and what I perceive to be truth. My painting is always in the canvas (womb). I just have to bring it out (birth)."

Martin Hechtman: On Seeing

February 2005
Martin Hechtman Martin Hechtman's photographs are interesting and intricate. His images of reflections are collages of our mundane world: a concert of the coincident placement of shop windows filled with goods, people walking on the street, moments of sunlit spaces — layered and layered within the frame. These photographs capture all that is in our peripheral vision, yet hardly is ever recognized; perhaps it is our speed as we race to appointments and to catch trains, or our preoccupations that keep us from noticing. Perhaps these tableaus are so much a part of our world that we would never think to notice them.

“In Photography we tend to focus on an object, ignoring the myriad images that are included in what we observe! I am attempting to bring all these mind sensations into focus. In essence, visual thinking expressed as focused chaos before the mind chooses its subject.” writes Hechtman.

What will you notice?

Native New Yorker, Martin Hechtman, has been around photography and media for most of his life. He was a photographer in the Navy, been a specialist in photographing jewelery, worked as an Art Director for Madison Avenue Advertising agencies, and now has devoted himself to what he enjoys most: making images.

He has had several one man shows in New York State. The Grady Alexis Gallery is happy to present him in his first exhibition at El Taller.

César Chelala: Caminito Series

Color Photographs of the Street in Buenos Aires "Caminito"
December 2004 - January 2005
Cesar Chelala
The Grady Alexis Gallery invites you to a TANGO NIGHT on Saturday December 4 at 7pm, with photographs by César Chelala from his "Caminito Series" and tango music with the world premiere of the tango "Renaceras". Performance by Los Chantas: Emilio Teubal on piano, David Hodges on bandoneon and Sergio Reyes on violin. Guest artist: Luis Yanes on guitar. Special participation of Luli De Oto on "Renaceras".

For those of us who have never been there, it is hard to imagine the sight and feeling of encountering the colorful urban-scape of the little street in Buenos Aires, called Caminito, for the first time. Buenos Aires is a city filled with beautiful architecture, yet aside from the proliferation of green from the many plazas in the city, the general feeling is the austerity of gray of stonework.

Dr. Chelala has written that in the part of Buenos Aires near the docks, called La Boca, the Italian immigrants who lived there used the paint left over from the ships for painting the exterior of their homes. This has had the effect of giving the neighborhood a particularly unique character: a splash of intense color in this otherwise sober looking city. Dr. Chelala goes on to explain: "Caminito (little road), the name of one of Argentina's best known tangos, is also the name of two street blocks in Argentina. One, located in La Boca, honors the composer of the music of Caminito, Juan de Dios Filiberto. The other block is a little town road in the province of La Rioja, and honors the author of the tango lyrics, Gabino Coria Peñaloza. Although the block in La Rioja is believed by some to be the origin of the tango's name, most people now identify Caminito with the street in Buenos Aires. Although it was not much appreciated at the beginning, Caminito went to become one of the most popular tangos of all time. And most Argentines can repeat by heart the beginning of the tango's lyrics:

Caminito that time has erased
and that one day saw us passing by
I came for the last time
I came to tell you my woes
(Caminito que el tiempo ha borrado)
(que juntos un día nos viste pasar)
(he venido por última vez)
(he venido a contarte mi mal)."

Dr. Chelala was born in Argentina, and emigrated to the United States, where he has been living since 1971. In Buenos Aires, he worked as a medical researcher at the laboratory of Dr. Luis F. Leloir, a Nobel laureate for his work in biochemistry and medicine. Dr. Chelala also worked as a researcher at The Public Health Research Institute of the City of New York and at New York University School of Medicine. For the last 22 years he has been an international medical consultant for several international organizations, among them several agencies of the United Nations. His work consists in the monitoring and evaluation of health projects in developing countries. He has conducted health-related missions in over 45 countries worldwide in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Dr. César Chelala has amply documented through photography his experiences of his travels around the world.

The Caminito Series has been shown at the Monique Goldstrom Gallery in Soho, New York, and the Martinez Gallery in Troy (New York), Embassy of Argentina in Washington, D.C and the Queensborough Community College Art Gallery in New York.

In 1989, he had a one-man show of his photographs from Africa at The College of New Rochelle, School of New Resources, to celebrate Black History Month. In 1991, he won First Prize in a photography contest organized by the Women, Health and Development division of the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, D.C. His photographs have been published in Aljadid, The Neue Zürcher Zeitung, The Lancet, POPULI, The Boston Globe, Women's Health Journal, and The Harvard International Review, as well as in several official publications of the United Nations. Chelala's photographs are in embassy, corporate, museum, and private collections.

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