Pow! Wham! What? It’s superheroes, avatars, and mixed-media channeling sci-fi social consciousness in an engaging, colorful, thought-provoking mix in the super-fun Fronteras del Futuro: Art in New Mexico and Beyond exhibition at Albuquerque’s National Hispanic Cultural Center through March 12.
These artists love mixing pop culture images, found objects, and historic iconography to question where we’ve been and where we’re going. Take a look at our favorites in our Flickr album.
Some artists use pop culture to get our attention on deeper issues. The back-to-the-future B-movie poster series by Angel Cabrales prompts reflection on societal attitudes about immigrants and border issues.
Gilbert “Magú” Luján’s silkscreen merges the epic scope of Mesoamerican history into a contemporary context. A stylish Aztec couple takes a cross-border journey from Aztlán to Texas in a pre-Columbian-styled low rider.
One of the most epic achievements is a wall-length, accordian-folded letterpress codex – a collaboration by Enrique Chagoya, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and Felicia Rice. Codex Espangliensis features pop-culture superheroes, pre-Columbian imagery, comics, and social declarations to explore New World history from 1492 to the present.
Another set of artists rummages around to find tossed-off computer parts, circuit boards, skateboard parts, and other found items to create their works.
Marion Martinez grew up near Los Alamos National Laboratory, and started visiting its selvage area to find components from which to assemble her artworks – transforming discarded tech into beautiful icons of Northern New Mexican heritage.
Roswell political cartoonist Eric J. Garcia takes another angle on mixing New Mexico’s cultural, culinary, and nuclear history. His Tamale Man series features the transformation of a guy munching a tamale at the first blast at the Trinity Site into a radioactive superhero.
Ryan Singer’s painting series blends his childhood fascination with Star Wars and other futuristic sagas with his Navajo heritage and upbringing.
Meet Ehren Kee Natay, a Diné artist, whose work opens the exhibition with a loving tribute to his grandfather, the first Native American to release a commercial record: