Pilar Agüero-Esparza: Stratum
October 3 – 28, 2022
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Pilar Agüero-Esparza’s inquiry begins with the materials and processes specific to growing up in a shoemaking family. In the craft tradition of huarache–making (Mexican indigenous sandals), repetitive gestures such as the weaving of leather, the hammering of nails and the painting of finishing details make up her current practice. The physical presence and signifying potential of these materials and gestures inspire Agüero-Esparza to analyze how objects are made, who makes them and the physical or social conditions involved in their making.
Agüero-Esparza usurps the tropes of Color Theory, substituting a skin-tone palette for prismatic colors to draw attention to the complexities of skin color. While her chosen color palette is contrived as “neutral” she intends to convey hierarchical power dynamics represented in the chromatic gamut of beige, brown, and black. Her works can be seen as “racialized abstractions” and consider social dynamics and colorism within our culture.Through them, she invokes the viewer to consider the inequities of race, gender and class by presenting them with specific cultural and aesthetic experiences. In representing ideas of othering and conditions of otherness, she calls attention to marginalized cultural and aesthetic experiences to validate them and acknowledge their power.
Images above: detail, Lace 4, Stratum Weave, and Stratum/Merging
See Exhibition images and Artists' Talk below.