Lucas Monaco: Artwork   [ home ] Back to Documents [ email me ]

LA VOZ Nueva NOVEMBER 12, 2008

Don BAIN

Defining the line between...

A single horizontal line can represent so many concepts ­ the horizon, a time line or the boundary between two separate areas or entities. The current exhibit at Museo de las Américas has asked five distinct fine artists from the U.S. and Latin America to explore this concept in an exhibit titled appropriately Fine Line, on display through Feb. 15, 2009.

The artists include Lucas Monaco (U.S.), Maximo Gonzales (Argentina) Ricardo Rendon (Mexico), Mauro Ariel Koliva (Argentina) and Carlos Capelán (Uruguay). Lucas Monaco is based out of New York City and his works focus about organic objects and architecture. He took this assign- ment quite seriously depicting the horizon of cityscapes. His work literally compares the constructs of man to those of nature. The topographic canyons he delineates resemble those of nature when seen from a distance - concrete river highways connect vast urban canyons. Though we usually think of our- selves as distinct and separate from nature, humans, as a species, are part of nature too.

Ricardo Rendón lives and works in Mexico City as a professor of multimedia at the Escuela Nacional de Escultura, Pintura y Grabado. In an installation for this exhibit he uses the horizontal line to connect various systems and operations, creating the move- ment and flow of ideas or concepts. Black screws mounted in the wall depict interrelat- ed and independent apparati and a temporal progression. His work may be perceived as either cellular, mundane or even cosmic depending on the perspective of the viewer.

Rendón also contrasts the lines of nature with the lines of man by burning into the natural grain of wood. Most of these efforts address the construction process and its apparent perversion of nature.

Maximo Gonzales, known for his use of currency in his compositions, uses nails with peso-covered heads to create a fanciful installation open to a wide array of interpre- tations. Is it a smoldering forest wafting wisps of smoke into the sky or leaves falling to collect in jagged piles? Is it a dust devil forming over the plains or the pins marking the site of every Wal-Mart in North America? Your guess, dear reader, is every bit as good as ours. He also contributed an installa- tion piece titled School of Rats in which the school seems to spit out humans into waiting safety nets while television creates rodents who slowly form into regimented cadres.

Mauro Ariel Koliva is a licensed artist in plastic arts. He crosses a line dividing reality from fantasy with a series depicting the clothing of mon- sters ­ after all, what does a mutant wear in inclement weather? Inquiring minds want to know!

Koliva also created the most col- orful and striking piece of the exhibit titled Below the Line. If the art is on the wall, he has disemboweled it, spilling its plasticene guts all over a shelf and the floor below. Or perhaps it is a dimen- sional rift through which someone is tossing their medical wastes? Any conclusions are entirely left to the viewer.

Carlos Capelán currently splits his time between Sweden and Costa Rica. His work uses a multitude of lines to address complex social and psychological issues such as men- tal disorders and social dehumanization. Similar to these social ills, focusing too closely on his works will make your head hurt.

All in all, kudos are due to executive director and curator Patty Ortiz for a thought provoking and emotionally stimulating exhibit. Sometime over the next three months make a beeline to the Museo and draw your own conclusions from the ele- ments comprising Fine Line.

For more information call 303-571-4401.