FAST FORWARD | The Future Is… presents works by key figures in Black, Latinx, Women, and Queer art history, juxtaposed with works from a select group of emerging artists. The series culminates in a final exhibition uniting all artists under one roof.
The series begins with FAST FORWARD | The Future Is Brown, opening March 19 and running through April 9, 2022.
The Future Is Brown features work by long-established leaders of Chicano art, including Carlos Almaraz, Frank Romero, Salomón Huerta, and Linda Vallejo. Alongside these giants, we’ll be showing works by the new generation, including Johnny “KMNDZ” Rodriquez, Ana Serrano, Enrique Castrejon, Sonia Romero, and newcomer ARTST UKNWN.
These juxtapositions illustrate recurring themes that continue be examined and tackled by the successive generations of artists; racial and gender inequality; body politics; sexuality; imperialism; migration; social justice; identity; and the lack of inclusion within mainstream art and culture.
Highlights include Linda Vallejo’s Objects of Opulence, a site-specific installation – made specially for Bermudez Projects – reimaging a Victorian dining room set painted in milk-chocolate brown, surrounded by objects of opulence from the Gilded Age.
Vallejo says, “Objects of Opulence will appropriate culture and history from the nascent age of great wealth and influence in the US and symbolically return it to the ‘brown’ Latino/x essential workers who helped to build and continue to support the growth of American business and wealth. Objects of Opulence examines and interprets the politics of color, class, culture, and power through the themes of wealth and power, cultural identity and awareness, and pop culture.”
Ana Serrano has created the Latino McMansion, a 5 ft tall model of a house that has been remodeled from a single story tract home – usually built in the 1950’s or 60’s – into a two-story manse. “I’m interested in how Latino people alter the built environment, resulting in the layering of details from the past and present, and along the way creating a unique aesthetic in their communities,” said Serrano. “Because these homes do not typically blend into the dominant architectural aesthetics of a neighborhood I see them as symbols of a rejection to assimilate and a celebration of people creating their own community in a place that was not originally designed for them.”
Frank Romero’s Recuerdos is a classic work painted in 1982. “This is an example of the Freudian term free association,” says Romero. “Carlos [Almaraz] and I used to discuss this, and a lot of [his] paintings show the same kinds of things, floating imagery. This piece has things that just came into my head: ruby-red lips; giant breasts; a floating cloud; a horse and cowboy; hearts; and an ejaculating penis.”
And, two paintings by Johnny “KMNDZ” Rodriguez present the natural world colliding with the built environment, serving as an entryway to the philosophical discussions of humankind’s ability to truly act freely versus predetermined, calculable predictability. For Rodriguez, disruption is the stuff of creativity.
Says Bermudez Projects curator and gallery owner Julian Bermudez, “In this moment when many younger artists are rightly receiving lots of attention, it occurs to me there is an opportunity to address an enormous piece missing from the larger conversation. How did trailblazing artists like Carlos Almaraz, Frank Romero, Gordon Parks, Vivian Maier, Yolanda González, or David Wojnarowicz influence the new generations? What lessons can we learn by examining their shared themes? How do we ensure ongoing inclusivity in museums, galleries and auction houses for the traditionally-marginalized artists? My intention with this series of exhibits is to remind the public that in order to see and shape a future you have to recall and respect the past.”