CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE Detail from Diaz Art Foundation.

Diaz acknowledges, "I am, however, one of the lucky ones — with gallery representation, museum shows, and works in good collections — but I just know things could have been better, should have been better in the Latino/Latina arts community at large. With the Diaz Art Foundation, I want to celebrate my independence, creating a foundation that is inclusive and to my mind much more interesting."

Model for the Diaz Art Foundation is wire and wood Mexican birdcages stacked up like a skyscraper. He also offers a life-sized storefront Diaz Art Foundation set up in a corner of the museum like a small, makeshift apartment packed with art. Inside there are works by Diaz, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Carolee Schneemann, and Andy Warhol — or at least they're purported to be by those artists. Plus there's a bunch of "miscellaneous Mexican folk art." The stately door is flanked by a pair of decorative trees potted in giant La Morena jalapeño peppers cans.

Again Diaz is nudging you with that tension between cheap and moneyed. His hand-buzzer conceptual gags are a sort of barbed, self-deprecating, knowing minstrelsy. He plays a poor, dim, folksy Latino clumsily trying to put on airs. His institutional and societal critique — though it may be mild and somewhat slight — is about the distance between average folks and glittering art institutions — measured in dollars.

Read Greg Cook's blog at gregcookland.com/journal.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Rhode Island School of Design, RISD, Money
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   EVOLVING PERSPECTIVES  |  July 23, 2014
    Somewhere around the 1950s, Florence Leif drastically changed her style.
  •   DOODLES, LIGHTS, AND DREAMS  |  July 16, 2014
    Gibson Prouty has found a muse — classic yellow pencils with pink erasers on the end.
  •   SEEING ANEW  |  July 09, 2014
    The aim of the RISD Museum’s eight newly renovated galleries for its permanent collection of fashion and Egyptian and Asian art seems to be “quiet contemplation.”
  •   BRIGHTNESS AND DARKNESS  |  June 25, 2014
    Constellations of mirror ball clouds dangle from the ceiling on pink cords at the center of the room and slowly rotate and sparkle. You’re invited to peer though weird, lumpy crystal-telescope-things.
  •   FIGHTING THE POWER  |  June 18, 2014
    It was around 1983 when Providence artist James Montford and a friend posed as photographers to check out the Ku Klux Klan rally in Norwalk, Connecticut.

 See all articles by: GREG COOK