Defiant Chronicles is the second exhibition organized by MOLAA for The Collaborative, the Museum’s new satellite space located in downtown Long Beach. The exhibition focuses on representing current strategies for artistic production derived and influenced by urban and street art including graffiti, stencil and stickers. The exhibition is comprised of two multi-mixed media installations by artists aka Acamonchi from Tijuana, Mexico and Los Angeles-based artist aka, Perl from the graffiti female collective FDS (From the Streets).

Perl researches and documents any kind of historical buildings, streets, neighborhoods, old signs, landmarks, alleys or abandoned buildings for her artistic practice. She uses the research to develop blog posts, photos, walking tours, among other forms of cultural production. On the other hand, Acamonchi was heavily influenced by images in old magazines, fanzines and the skateboard-punk countercultures; his work mostly addresses gender issues including a critical view of the notion of the ideal woman commonly promoted by the media.

Defiant Chronicles is co-curated by MOLAA Curator Idurre Alonso and Slanguage Founders Mario Ybarra Jr. and Karla Diaz. The opening at The Collaborative is on Saturday, April 30 at 7:00pm.

The Collaborative is located at
421 W. Broadway Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802
Hours: 11:00am – 5:00pm, Wed. – Sun.

Image Credit:
Acamonchi, Defiant Chronicles, 2011, spray paint and stencil


Gabriel De la Mora’s  Frágil/Fragile exhibition opens this Sunday,  February 20 and runs until July 3, 2011. It will show his most recent works and will focus on an installation of tables with objects as well as some wall-hung works.

De la Mora works in various media and formats that range from drawings made from human hair to objects and drawings made with alphabet soup to burned papers that challenge what distinguishes a drawing from a sculpture.

The work table, which will be the main element of this exhibition, will contain approximately 100 small objects visually reminiscent of Duchamp’s readymades, placed in dialogue with each other and arranged as they would be in De la Mora’s studio.

A  sneak peek into our galleries as we finish installing works of art from our upcoming exhibition, Mexico: Expected/Unexpected. Beginning this Sunday, February 20 through May 15, 2011, you will have the opportunity to view the exhibition. The  works of art are  from the Isabel and Agustin Coppel Collection, one of the most comprehensive contemporary Mexican collections. Mexico: Expected/Unexpected will be shown concurrently at MOLAA and the Museum of Contemporary Art  San Diego (MCASD).

The exhibition destabilizes categories typically associated with Mexico and with Mexican art. It features works that overcome the concept of Mexicanness as a fixed category. The Coppel Collection surprises in unexpected ways. Likewise, Mexico: Expected/Unexpected proposes that Mexican contemporary art, like the global culture to which it responds, is unstable, rich, complex, unpredictable and constantly shifting between tradition and innovation.

From the poetic to the political, Mexico: Expected/Unexpected showcases key figures of the Mexican contemporary art scene, including Carlos Amorales, Abraham Cruzvillegas and Gabriel Orozco, among others. The exhibition contextualizes these artists in relation to noted historical international practitioners such as Ana Mendieta, John Baldessari, Gordon Matta Clark and Ed Ruscha, among others.

The exhibition also proposes short stories that echo each other along thematic lines. Painting, photography, installation, video art, sculpture and text pieces are gathered into sections.

The Siqueiros exhibition is currently being installed in our galleries. This is a behind the scenes sneak peek of some of the works you can expect to see beginning  September 12!

MOLAA joins the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil (MACG), Mexico City, in presenting Siqueiros Paisajista / Siqueiros: Landscape Painter, an exhibition that reveals the renowned Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros as a major landscape painter. This exhibition, which will be on view from Sept. 12, 2009 – January 30, 2011, is  the first of its kind to be presented anywhere and includes approximately half of the 150 landscape paintings that Siqueiros produced during his lifetime. The exhibition is the result of more than three years of collaboration that included gathering artwork from more than 20 different museum and private collections in Mexico and the U.S.

Featuring a selection of the most important landscape paintings and drawings, the exhibition reveals Siqueiros’ dynamic vision of futuristic cities, allegorical places and the environment. Utilizing an explosive color palette and experimental techniques, the landscape imagery is charged with the emotions of creation and destruction always present in the art of Siqueiros.

As a prominent painter and political activist, David Alfaro Siqueiros was an integral member of the Mexican School of Painting along with Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco. He continues to be viewed as one of the most important Mexican artists of the 20th century although his artistic influence spread far beyond Mexico’s borders.

While Siqueiros is represented in the historic canon of modern Mexican art as one of the leading proponents of public art for social action—largely due to his mural painting—it was through his easel painting that he studied an extensive variety of techniques and styles that allowed him to examine pictorial space, composition, light, shadow and color.

In addition to his exploration of techniques and styles, Siqueiros constantly experimented with new tools and materials. After discovering various types of industrial materials produced in the United States in the 1930s, Siqueiros’ produced most of his easel works with uncommon materials such as Duco paint, a DuPont brand name for pyroxilin paint, a tough and resilient type of nitro-cellulose paint manufactured for the automotive industry.  The use of these industrial materials, not commonly used as “fine art” materials, again emphasizes the radical nature of Siqueiros and his art.

Image: David Alfaro Siqueiros, Aeronave atómica, 1956.

(The artist installing her work.)

Entre tú y la imagen de ti a mí llega / Between You and the Image of You That Reaches Me by Mexican conceptual and installation artist, Mariana Castillo-Deball is currently on view through September 12, 2010. Her installation pieces revolve around two important figures of Aztec mythology: Coatlique, the Mother Goddess of the Earth and Death, who gave birth to the moon and the stars and Coyolxauhqui, her powerful eldest daughter.

Castillo-Deball approaches the mythological figures from the perspective of history and myth, taking into account the archaeological context of the major findings that changed the history of Mexican archaeology. In this exhibition, she draws a parallel between the mythological narrations of these pieces and their destiny as artifacts of national identity. She is interested “specifically in identifying the difference between a government that bases its power in religion and mythology – as in Aztec times- and today’s laic state, that attempts to convert its symbols and significance.” Her work focuses on the archaeological objects as the means of understanding how the past is constructed.

Mariana Castillo-Deball studied fine art at the National University in Mexico and at the Jan Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Recent projects include: Do ut des, Objectif exhibitions, Antwerp; A for Alibi, De Appel, Amsterdan; The Last Piece of John Fare, GB Agency, Paris; Transacciones Filosoficas, Historical Observatory, Cordoba, Argentina and Estas Ruinas Que Ves, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City. Castillo-Deball is a founding member of Uqbar, developing projects that relate contemporary art to other disciplines.

Last week our members had the opportunity to see the works by Mexican conceptual artist Felipe Ehrenberg at the opening of Manchuria:Peripheral Vision–A Felipe Ehrenberg Retrospective. The evening included music by DJ Chucuchu as well as a live performance by Felipe Ehrenberg and Guillermo Gomez-Peña. The exhibition will be on view until August 15.

All photos by Thomas McConville.