Sunday, December 6, 2015

Latino Arts: Gardens, Gods and Grids by Dara Larson

The full title is a mouthful: Gardens, Gods and Grids: Retracing Nature, Culture, & Infrastructure in the Americas. The multimedia exhibit by Milwaukee artist Dara Larson, which fills the huge Latino Arts Gallery at the United Community Center, is also a lot to take in.

As the title suggests, the work is from "the Americas." In this case it means throughout North, South and Central America. Larson clearly has done a lot of traveling. She did confess to me that she's been collecting materials and images over many years. However, the current work is recent.

Most of the prints in the exhibit are digital collages. Larson's images begin as photographs, but her complex layering and collaging techniques demolish normal perspective and any kind of typical photographic picture plane.

The center of the gallery is dominated by a day-of-the-dead style ofrenda, or shrine. Larson is a regular contributor to official Day of the Dead exhibits, so it comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with that work. But this ofenda is made up largely of old travel guidebooks and maps that show the varied destinations.

Gardens, Gods and Grids runs through February 26, so there is plenty of time to get in there to see this fine show.

The Latino Arts Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

All images courtesy Dara Larson.

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