Esperanza Mayobre is an installation artist who delights in revealing visual clues that collectively communicate her heritage and unique cultural viewpoint. Relying on personal experience and awareness of place, many of Mayobre’s photographs and artifacts are gleaned from Venezuela, her native country. Daily documents of eroded or empty billboards that line the roadways were recorded through the windshield as the artist passed by. The images are then printed at postcard size, and arranged in asymmetrical grids and presented in multi-walled installations too large to be seen in a single viewing. As the viewer explores the subtle variation and repetition of the images, the ubiquity of propaganda and empty political promises become almost palpable in time and space.
A recurring symbol in Mayobre’s work is the makeshift antennamounted above many Venezuelan homes. Fan cages adapted to achieve a first world luxury--satellite TV-- litter the landscape. Photographs of the antennae, as well as actual artifacts imported by the artist can be found in many of her pieces. Applying this same cunning, Mayobre similarly co-opts everyday objects such as certificate frames, welcome mats, and globes to comment on the adaptability required to survive in a radicalized sociopolitical state.
Mayobre's artwork unfolds to reveal central concepts such as decay and chaos, family and togetherness, as well as the awkward otherness of immigrant status. Surely anyone who has travelled abroad can attest to the excitement and frustration of unfamiliar customs, vernacular, bureaucratic systems and social bonds. The polarity between being at once an American and a ‘foreigner’ allows her to integrate disintegration into her work, and approach difficult subjects with tragicomic aplomb.
Esperanza Mayobre studied art in Caracas, holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), and attended Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. She has had numerous solo exhibitions including Galeria Fernando Zubillaga, Galeria ArtePuy, and Centro Cultural La Caja Chacao (all Caracas, Venezuela), Hallways Contemporary Art Center (Buffalo, NY), Galeria Solar (East Hampton, NY) and most recently Westchester Community College State University of New York. Her work has been included in group exhibitions in Germany, Spain, Korea and El Salvador, and in and around NYC including Dorsky Gallery, Momenta, Leslie Heller, TSA NY, Brooklyn Fire Proof, Radiator and Postmasters, the Bronx Museum, the Jersey City Museum, among others. Esperanza is the recipient of the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), LMCC Workspace residency and Smack Mellon Studio Program. Her work has been reviewed in Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, Art in America, BOMB, The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, Artnet, El Nacional, Arte al Dia and Artforum.
Portraits courtesy of Jen Maler: www.jenmaler.com