Carlos Donjuan’s current body of work relates to the idea of illegal aliens. As a kid, Donjuan recalls hearing the term frequently, but never fully understood its’ meaning. He states, “I always wondered what everyone was talking about, imaging weird creatures in my head…I wanted to meet one and to know what they looked like.” As Donjuan grew older, he discovered that some condemned him due to his background, a realization he describes as heartbreaking. He comments, “I wasn’t much different from everyone else except for the fact that I was born on the other side of the border.”
As an artist, Carlos now utilizes the negativity he encountered to fuel his work. He revisits his childhood curiosity: what do illegal aliens look like? He interprets these childhood memories in his paintings, creating masked figures, hybrid animal people, pyramids and blob creatures—representations of immigrants who journey to a better life.
I feel a strong connection to the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi, sometimes described as an appreciation of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete and is often centered on the idea of transience. Fragility, directness, repetition, imperfection, process and time, observation of the natural world and of my thoughts are some of the influences on my work.
I am aware of patterns and repetitions in activity or design or process or seasons. Sometimes I have clarity of intention immediately upon first seeing a thing or working through an idea for a painting. At other times, objects and images are held in a suspended state in my studio until the right moment of clarity. Many of the objects I collect come with their own history/patina and suggest obvious references that become more complex when used in another context. I work both in painting and sculptural objects and see them in conjunction with each other in expressing my thinking.
My aim is to be able to transcribe my thoughts into abstract imagery that evokes my thinking while leaving room for interpretation. I want to be able to find the heart of the thing and describe it in simple, yet evocative ways. I want to find myself in the give and take of building and editing an object that responds to my ritual of creative play.
“Our artistic relationship has developed over a number of years as well as our sharing of creative ideas and collaboration. We have exhibited our work together in the past and continue our ongoing conversation about art. Carlos was my student at the University of Texas at Arlington while he completed his BFA. We share a love of form and a strong design sense that comes through our work, and our color palette is often in sync even though our backgrounds are very different and our work reflects our personal histories.” – Marilyn Jolly
The works in this exhibition are a selection of photos from previous Art Car parades in Victoria, TX.
The Nave will kick off the festivities May 17th with its 3rd annual Art Car Parade through downtown Victoria and ending at The Nave. This a FREE event for the entire family.
Ann Harithas, event curator and board member of The Nave, has been a judge at the annual Orange Show Houston Art Car Parade for 25 years and is also founder of the Art Car Museum in Houston. For the fourth year in Victoria, Harithas will organize award-winning art cars from noted art car artists for display on Commercial Street in front of The Nave, along with a new exhibition by Irvin Tepper on view inside the museum.
Check out the Art Car 2014 Commercial http://youtu.be/NEJK3bp0lYM
The Nave Museum will be exhibiting Ride: New Works by Amber Eagle. Amber Eagle is an internationally exhibited artist who works in many different media and is well known for her exquisitely crafted award-winning art cars.
Ride is inspired by ancient aliens and outer space as well as the ancient and baroque culture of Mexico where Eagle lives. The ancient alien is used a metaphor for the stranger in everyone, as well as illegal aliens; and outer space as a metaphor for our mysterious inner space.
The exhibit features the worldwide premier of her new art car “Rosebud” and a series of work she has created while making the car. The car arrives in Victoria for the March 6th opening, having travelled the route of many alien crossings from central Mexico. Eagle’s exhibit reflects a collaboration with many Mexican craftspeople including her husband Guillermo Rosas and his wrought iron workshop, as well as mechanics, carpenters, electricians and seamstresses.
Amber Eagle will be present March 6, 2014 from 6 – 8 p.m. at The Nave Museum for our Member Preview. Nowhere but The Nave do Members have the exclusive opportunity to meet and mingle with the Artists, Collectors and Curators responsible for our exhibits. Anyone interested in becoming a Member can contact The Nave office by calling 361-575-8227, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or simply join at the door on March 6. We look forward to seeing you!
The Nave Museum is located at 306 W. Commercial in Victoria, TX and is open to the public 12-4pm Tues through Sun and 12-7pm Thursday. Admission is Pay What You Want. Enjoy the exhibit and decide what you would like to give to support our mission.
Eye to Eye: Regional Portraits of Pioneers, Founders, Leaders, Citizens, Movers and Shakers | January 16 – February 23, 2014
Along with “The Cattle Baron’s Daughter and the Artists Who Loved Her” and “Art on The Hoof,” “Eye to Eye” is the third in a series of exhibits at The Nave showcasing regional history through art. Portraits in this exhibit cover a range of styles and techniques, as well as providing windows to the past. What do you see when you stand “eye to eye” with these portraits? Steely resolve? Feminine beauty? Traits of character? You will certainly come face to face with familiar images. Finally, you can judge for yourself how accurately or convincingly the artist has captured the individual. A fair likeness? Well, that is in the eye of the beholder.
Art Spoken Here will be the first time multi-discipline forms converge under one roof when the Nave opens its doors to spoken word, musical and visual artists. The artists are from Houston, Austin and Victoria. For some, it will be a homecoming celebration, and for all it will be a chance to show the works that they feel best represents who they are as artists. The styles range far and wide – mixed media, sculptures, paintings and photography combined with the oral traditions of poetry and music to tell their stories.
12/19 performance – Kim Pickens
12/29 performance – Folly Collage
12/21 will be an expanded performance of spoken word and musical acts at the Golden Gecko, 202 W. Forrest St where doors will open at 9PM. Scheduled to appear are Rajolei Pickens, Aaron Jacob, Matt Harlan, Zin, Layla Becker, Angela Guillory, Da’Shade Moonbeam, Steph Gordon, Neal’s Acoustic Journey.
Visual Artists scheduled – Michael K Taylor, Lovie Olivia, Tina Hernandez, The Artfull Dodger (Patrick Medrano), Katy Anderson, Lisa Qualls, Rodolfo Villarreal, Angela Guillory, Seditious Seraphim (Taylor Stephens), Monito Loco, Liana Lopez and Edwin Daniel Kuykendall (Danny K). For more information, please visit http://navemuseum.com or www.facebook.com/somewhereinbetweenart.
On display inside The Nave will be artistic Altars (Ofrendas) that commemorate the memory of a loved one. These altars include photos, brilliant flowers, art work, and often the honored person’s favorite food or drink. The exhibit at The Nave will also include a Silent Auction of over 50 Retablos, small devotional folk-art pieces that are lovingly crafted and highly detailed, and available in many unique styles, created by artists from Victoria and the surrounding area. The Silent Auction continues at The Nave through December 15th. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm36MAdyMHg