Join URI-EICHEN as we start our 5 month series about Income Inequality in America
Opening – May 13, 6-10pm
7pm: Artist Discussion with Oscar Magallanes and Citizen Action Illinois Discussion on Fighting Inequality in Illinois
A “New American Portrait” is an exhibition of new works by Los Angeles based artist Oscar Magallanes. Magallanes’ work is heavily influenced by the social and environmental issues of his upbringing of the Mexican Barrio. His work is known for its use bold graphics, cultural and political iconography, along with visual rhetoric of popular people’s movements such as that of labor and civil rights movements.
This new body of work pays homage to Diego Rivera and Bertram David Wolfe’s “Portrait of America” which was a collaboration in 1934 that tasked students of the New Workers School in New York to research alternate histories of labor in the United States. While Rivera and Wolfe’s work was unapologetically communist and idealistic in its assertion that the workers’ movement would create a classless society, we can clearly see in the 82 years since the widening rift between the working class and the wealthy in the United States today. Rivera’s work while having proven naive in the ability of communism to challenge capitalism, has at the same time been proven correct in it’s predictions of capitalism’s oppressiveness to labor.
Set against the current theater of politics in which xenophobia has replaced the “good neighbor” Magallanes’ work serves as a portrait of America through its relationship with labor. A changing portrait of late capitalism or post-industrialism that reflects the enduring historical traumas of a complex people’s history of a nation.
Magallanes was raised in the Azusa Barrio of Los Angeles. At the age of fifteen, he was expelled from high school, but was accepted into the Ryman Arts program at the Otis-Parsons College campus which encouraged him to become a professional artist. His artwork is influenced by the cultural and social elements of his upbringing along with his years of previous work as a graphic designer. The experience of participating in two distinct worlds continues to inform the work.
Commemorating Les Orear and the Union Stockyard Gate
URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 S Halsted
May 14, 2 pm-4 pm
Join Uri-Eichen Gallery and the Illinois Labor History Society for a free reception and photography display featuring images celebrating the life of ILHS co-founder Les Orear and Chicago stockyard workers and the exhibit of Oscar Magallanes’ work (see above) The reception will take place immediately following the commemoration of a bench and plaque to honor Les Orear at the site of Stockyard Gate, located at the intersection of Halsted and Exchange, near 41st Street. Les Orear passed away at the age of 103, in 2014. He dedicated his life to organizing for workers’ rights and preserving and sharing their history. He was an organizer for United Packinghouse Workers of America and co-founder and president emeritus of the Illinois Labor History Society.
Open by appointment through June 3, 2016. For an appointment, call 312 852 7717
May –September: Each month a new show on growing income inequality in America- June: Uri-Eichen collaborates with the Maxwell Street Foundation, 1%: Privilege in a Time of Global Inequality (a collaboration with the Gage Gallery), Cartoons about economic inequality curated by Mike Konopacki and Gary Huck, and more!