WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonians National Portrait Gallery
will open a new exhibition featuring six contemporary Latino artists who explore how identities are constructed and negotiated through portraiture. Portraiture Now: Staging the Self, open Aug. 22 through April 12, 2015, will include 59 photographs, paintings and mixed media portraits.
This series of exhibitions showcases contemporary artists who are breaking the conventions of portraiture, said Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery. In Staging the Self, these artists show complex contemporary identities unfolding between themselves and their subjects. They are both within and between American and Latino cultures.
Portraiture Now: Staging the Self features the work of David Antonio Cruz, Carlee Fernandez, María Martínez-Cañas, Rachelle Mozman, Karen Miranda Rivadeneira and Michael Vasquez. Theatricality is central to their inquiry, as they represent narratives remembered or imagined from their own family histories, or superimpose portraits of their loved ones over themselves, looking for what is shared or unique in individuality. Some of the artists reference their Latino heritage in their work, and some do not. As they present themselves in a staged manner, portraiture loses its aura of certainty and becomes an evolving map for finding oneself and others.
This exhibition team is led by Taína Caragol, curator of Latino art and history and includes Brandon Fortune, chief curator; Rebecca Kasemeyer, associate director of education; Dorothy Moss, associate curator of painting and sculpture; and David C. Ward, senior historian. Portraiture Now: Staging the Self is presented by the National Portrait Gallery in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center.
The National Portrait Gallery is committed to expanding visitors ideas of portraiture through its programs, including the ongoing series of Portraiture Now exhibitions, which explore contemporary artists working to explore figuration in new ways.