Thursday, September 18, 2008
Opening Saturday, September 27th, from 7:00 to 10:00 pm
Closes October 17th, 2008.
In, The Greatest Companions, artist Edra Soto explores sociological aspects of Latino culture and how it is perceived through the media. As the exploratory research subject of this painting and installation show, Soto chooses the Puerto Rican icon Iris Chacon. Ms. Chacon was a pioneer of the ‘vedette’ movement in Puerto Rico in the 1970’s. Her eponymous variety show ‘El Show de Iris Chacon’ was very popular, no doubt due in part to her alluring looks and provocative costumes. This didn’t prevent her from becoming a favorite family entertainer while simultaneously becoming a legendary diva that few other performers in Latin America have been able to emulate.
‘The Greatest Companions’ series of gouaches, reenactments, and self-embellished verbatim paintings from photos, are reflections of Soto’s memories of watching ‘El Show de Iris Chacon’. As a child, she was drawn to her raw, incomparable demeanor, her perceptibly untrained dance style, and her charismatic and charming persona. Channeling Ms. Chacon as her alter ego and setting the paintings in vintage scenarios inspired by her show, the series questions the fascination of Latino women with self-exposure and, how Latino culture is portrayed in the popular media: woman as protector and protected.
The show will also feature works of artists Maria Gaspar, Harold Mendez, Albert Stabler and, one of Soto’s high school senior art students, Ramiro Trejo.
Edra Soto was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1971. In 1995, Edra received the Alfonso Arana Fellowship to work in Paris for one year. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she obtained her Masters degree in 2000.
Immediately after she attended a two-month residency at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has exhibited in Puerto Rico, France, Australia, Spain, Russia, New York, St Louis, Milwaukee and Chicago. Some of her latest presentations include: Site-Unseen curated by Julie Laffin at the Chicago Cultural Center; Consuming War, curated by Barbara Koenen at the Hyde Park Art Center and upcoming: Landscapes of Experience and Imagination, curated by Judith Hoos Fox at the Krannert Art Museum at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
Her work is currently feature in the New American Paintings Midwest edition #77.
You can see more of her work at edrasoto.blogspot.com and re-title/Chicago.
After the opening work can be viewed by appointment only
1125 w. 31st st.
chicago, il 60608