All posts tagged: Yvette Mayorga

Review: Reinterpreting Religion, at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art

Upon entering the long, dim exhibition hall at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, the first encounter in Reinterpreting Religion is Yvette Mayorga’s bubblegum pink, white, and gold installation Guns and Virgins (2018). With its offering of confectionary AR-15s, cartoonish police officers, American flags, Brown prostrate bodies, and a pair of frosting-drenched basketball shoes, Mayorga’s physically flattened yet confrontational work spurs the viewer to lay down their divine expectations at the altar of America’s violent tendencies and obsessive consumerism. Though Christianity, the predominant religion in the United States by far, promotes teachings centered on loving your neighbor, accepting the weary traveler, and turning the other cheek to violence, 81% of “white, born again/evangelical Christians” voted for Donald Trump despite his penchant for encouraging violence on the campaign trail and admittance of sexually assaulting women. Throughout Lauren Leving’s curatorial process, she recognized that religion seemed to have been commandeered as a tool to divide rather than unite communities across America. Though the exhibition kicks off with candy-coated automatic weapons, the intention of Reinterpreting Religion is to …

‘Go Fuck Yourself with a Cactus’: On the Politics of Space, Chicago Art, and Mexican Aesthetics with Yvette Mayorga

I watch people warn each other about which Chicago neighborhoods they shouldn’t go to, which streets they shouldn’t live past – all the time. Neighborhoods that are mostly white or halfway gentrified are safe, they tell each other. The neighborhoods I grew up in or live in now, communities of color, are cordoned off as unsafe. I watch people pass on patterns molded by the history of segregation in this city, unaware of the ugliness of what they are actually doing, patterns they carry with them into what they view as this city’s culture. If they’ve never been to certain parts of the city, our aesthetics are alien. But it is impossible to know Chicago art if you don’t know Chicago past the parts that have been marked safe for you. And that is the genius of a show like The Subject is Chicago: People, Places, Possibilities. It challenges passed on patterns and notions of what makes up the Chicago art scene by gathering artists from each of the city’s 50 wards and introducing viewers …

Sugary Deception: “The Politics of Desire” by Yvette Mayorga

Hot pinks and sugary detritus dominate the installations of Chicago-based artist Yvette Mayorga. In her most recent show, entitled The Politics of Desire and presented at the Chicago Artists Coalition, she uses a variety of mediums to comment on the inaccessibility of the American Dream for Mexican immigrants crossing borderlands. Her ongoing project, Borderland Series, communicates a narrative that encompasses the experiences of immigrant citizens from a variety of oppressed ethnicities. Through a wide array of media, ranging from acrylic painting to found objects, The Politics of Desire invites viewers to engage in a socio-political dialogue that would ordinarily be invisible in the white walls of a gallery space. Within the excessive layering of frosting and found objects, Mayorga presents a bold critique of American capitalism, state-sanctioned violence, and the uncertainty of Mexican citizenship. By using strategies that actively silence the white American male gaze, her work overwhelms the viewer with signifiers that represent immigrant rituals of celebration. Mayorga’s art practice originally began as an artistic venture to re-contextualize the board game Candy Land as …