Juventino Aranda: Esperé Mucho Tiempo Pa Ver
Juventino Aranda’s work expresses a search for identity at the intersection of Mexico and America. As the artist has stated, “I am Mexican and second generation ‘American.’ I am not Hispanic, Latino, and definitely not Spanish—even though I live everyday with the consequences of their conquest.” Aranda’s sharp-witted art navigates this cultural borderland, drawing from pre-Columbian sources as well as current affairs related to the social, political, and economic struggles of late capitalism and notions of the American dream. His art and activist practices are influenced by the grassroots movements of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, while at the heart of his enterprise lie poignant themes of social aspiration and reflections of personal vulnerability veiled in a tenderness and humor meant to disarm.
The exhibition, Esperé Mucho Tiempo Pa Ver (I Have Waited a Long Time to See) presents new and past work from this burgeoning artist, marking Aranda’s first museum exhibition in eastern Washington. Born to Mexican immigrants in Walla Walla, Washington, much of his recent work draws on his family history and particularities of his childhood that speak to foreignness in his native land. Not unlike his personal experience of never fully ascribing to one cultural category, his artwork also blends and manipulates the categories of paintings and sculpture, craft and high art, and manufacturing and the handmade, as well as the formal and conceptual strategies of post-minimalist artists.