April 11, 2021 Taos, New Mexico

The Harwood Museum of Art

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Saturday, June 9 - Sunday, October 7, 2018

Rafa Tarín: FOR NOW

Gallery: Hispanic Traditions Gallery

Opening: Saturday, June 9, Reception: 3-5pm

This summer, The Harwood Museum of Art presents the works of Peñasco-based artist Rafa Tarín and a collection of paintings titled “FOR NOW.” This powerful series of works adds to the traditional Hispanic Traditions Gallery on the second floor contemporary works bringing the conversation of current issues facing Northern New Mexico to the Harwood Museum.

Tarín explains, “These are urgent times, not more concerning perhaps than at other times in contemporary (so-called) U.S. history. U.S capitalism and its corporatocratic minions have always been at war with those that it deems anti-thetical to its project of global domination – indigenous, black, brown, woman and girls, youth, immigrant, the economically struggling, queer, trans, people with disabilities, people with chronic illnesses, the neurodiverse, the incarcerated, people working for justice…” These selected paintings represent curated images within a larger body of work that reflects Tarin’s shapeshifting positionality as a gender non-conforming, queer, xicanx, parent, artist, intersectional feminist and transformative arts educator.

As a writer, educator and artist, Tarín’s process starts out as words: poems, articles, stories, stats, and meditations. For Tarín, as language fades into the background, images emerge that form a visual lengua, culturally coded, amplifying an aesthetic rooted in xicanx culture and cosmology. These mixed media images created over the several years illustrate Tarín’s musings on intimate relationships, healing, self-love, gender indoctrination, motherhood, xicanx feminism, war, occupation and femicide. They are meant to promote visibility, stimulate awareness, and spark action.

The works require attention. Within each composition, a narrative is composed, expressing a delicate balance of beauty, frustration, anger, and hope. For generations, our community has used art as an expression of world-views, a way of translating the world around them. Tarín continues this tradition, speaking out for those that may be voiceless, expressing that which brings them hope, while grappling with issues that bring suffering.

Tarín is a northeast Los Angeles born self-taught artist with deep New Mexican roots. They are a transformative arts educator working with northern New Mexico youth in the disciplines of visual art, puppetry, stiltwalking and devised physical theatre for the past 15 years.

A reception is scheduled for June 9th at 3-5 pm running concurrent with the Summer Exhibition launch of Larry Bell’s “Hocus, Focus and 12”, and Peter Sarkisian’s “Mind Under Matter.” This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Harwood Museum of Art at 575.758.9826 x 109 or go to harwoodmuseum.org.