LMAKprojects is pleased to present Friends don’t have sleepOVerS, Carlos Rigau’s first solo exhibit in NYC. Rigau will be presenting his newest video along with photographs, assemblages and two-dimensional work. The exhibit is an exploration of Rigau’s continued search for identity through cultural iconography, questioning authority and the role of the viewer.
Rigau’s work is a balance between beauty and the coarse, repulsion and attraction continually questioning and engaging the viewer’s gaze. In the video Friends don’t have sleepOVerS Rigau combines experimental film, with cinematic and children’s programming techniques to develop a non-linear narrative about transformation. Through the use of masks Rigau draws upon his ancestry and its links to the Caribbean religion Santería and Palo, which he performs acting as a shaman recalling stereotypes of Native-Americans. Rather then critiquing he creates an mélange and blends his heritage with his country of birth (Cuban-American), intertwined with his personal life as his children are an integral part of the work. With this approach to art, Rigau follows the line set by such compatriots as Ana Mandieta, Felipe Jesus Consalvos, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres.
Expanding his dialogue and amassing his understanding of his own identity, Rigau appropriates found source materials into assemblages. Whether these are found objects or created to look like discarded refuge of society, Rigau builds them into ex-votes like structures weaving through themes of death, lust and life. His use of magazines and advertising visuals plays on our language and standards that we set for ourselves. The appropriation of visuals can also be found in Rigau’s use of chrome key and its color scheme of green and blue. Mainly used in the media to overlay two screen images they also represent the invisible and what we are not supposed to see yet through their vibrancy they are hard to ignore. Rigau’s visual examination is an integral look at how we come to be and through what decisions we are marked. The viewer is faced with a personal insight and Rigau has the ability to make us spectator, oppressors and subject at the same time.
Carlos Rigau is a recent MFA graduate form Hunter, NY 2009. His work has been shown at MAM, MoCA, Art and Cultural Center of Hollywood, Art Center South Florida and Dimensions Variable all located in Florida, and at such galleries as Jack Tilton Gallery, NY, Shane Campbell Gallery, IL, Nice and Fit Berlin, Germany and Dorsch Gallery, FL. He is currently coordinating a project room at de la Cruz collection in Miami, in which Rigau has designed a viewing space for video and film.