mtn space gallery is pleased to present Back to the Garden…a solo exhibition of work by Palm Beach County-based painter Marcela Ramos Castillo.
Throughout my life, I’ve been deconstructing my existence as a Mexican American woman in a mixed-status immigrant family, and exploring how these experiences fit into the greater dialogues concerning the Latin American diaspora, particularly in the United States. Despite these qualities being intrinsically tied to my sense of identity, I was not empowered to speak about them, as there are real-life consequences that could arise from exposing myself and my family to scrutiny.
However, it is through this submersion in silence that injustice and marginalization is allowed to flourish, impregnating the social consciousness with an adulterated conceptualization of belonging, one that serves to preserve power within its historical and institutional havens. It is a rebellion against this silence that has motivated my interests in investigating the very structures and dynamics of power that have affected my community, as well as interrogating the narratives that influence our sense of selves and the various manifestations of the Other.
Painting and sculpture are tools through which I create rituals of permanence, confrontation, and significance in the midst of transience, degradation, and dispensability aimed at myself and my community. Bright colors, curated tropical suburban imagery, and the frequent repetition of grass blades serve as appeasing backdrops to figures, bodies, and gestures, no longer relegated to the shadows, that challenge the viewer with their unwavering gaze. I utilize the stylistic contrasts between the figure, objects, and the space to create a distance between them.
The distance and tension between naturalistically rendered human forms and flattened, abstracted landscapes is at times subtle and at others vigorous, emphasizing the fluctuating artificiality of these constructs and the relationships between them in the public sphere. This glitch creates a space to deconstruct, decode, and critique the pitting of the Other against the laws and supposed realities of the “land”. Who made the land? Who owns it? Who gets to live on it? Who answers? - Marcela Ramos Castillo
Marcela Ramos Castillo (b. 1992; Los Angeles, CA) currently lives and works in South Florida. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI (2014). She is currently a full-time Visual Arts educator at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, FL.
Back to the Garden…will open on November 11 and will run through December 22.