Exhibition Dates: April 12 – August 3, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, April 12 | 5-9 pm
Tour with the artists | 7 pm
Justin Favela and Ramiro Gomez come together for the first time in “Sorry for the Mess,” an exhibition of new collaborative artwork about labor, childhood memories, and life in Las Vegas. Filling the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, this installation draws on key themes in the practices of both artists, merging a child’s imaginative experience with the adult realm of work and history.
The visual language of children’s television recurs throughout the show. Programs like Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street helped many of us form ideas about the world when we were young, and the artists draw on that familiar framework to connect such disparate subjects as the dolphins living in aquariums on the desert-bound Strip and the skeleton of the prehistoric ichthyosaur that used to lie at the center of the Museum floor. Playfully subverting our mental habit of blowing important objects up to huge proportions, Favela and Gomez create a giant landscape where the artifacts of “unseen” casino labor loom with the surreal monumentality of TV props.
The artists are familiar with the city—Favela as a native Las Vegan and Gomez as a Los Angeleno who often traveled here as a child to play in soccer tournaments. Taking its name from a temporary construction banner Gomez noticed at the Palms Casino Resort during the property’s recent renovation, Sorry for the Mess is rooted in on-site observation, local research, and conversations with workers and families.
“My mother has been a porter at the Palms since the casino opened in the ‘90s,” says Favela. “She is part of a very important workforce that maintains this city and their stories are never told.”
True to the humanistic ethos of both artists, construction of the installation focuses on handmade surfaces and widely-available materials such as cardboard and colored paper. Parts of the work will be built in a studio at the UNLV Department of Art as Favela and Gomez invite students to join them in their process.
“Sorry For the Mes”s opens April 12, 2019, from 5–9 p.m. and is on view at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art from April 12th to August 3rd, 2019. This exhibition is supported by the UNLV College of Fine Arts, the UNLV Department of Art, Latinos Who Lunch, The Art People Podcast, and Lindo Michoacan.
More information: https://www.unlv.edu/news-story/justin-favela-and-ramiro-gomez-sorry-mess-april-12-august-3-2019