September 1 – November 6, 2011
Featuring Chuck Ramirez; curated by Victor Zamudio-Taylor
Chuck Ramirez was an artist and designer who lived and worked in San Antonio, Texas. His large-scale photographic portraits and installations of banal objects are humorous, yet poignant metaphors for the transient nature of consumer culture and the frailty of life.
Ramirez showed extensively throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe. Solo and group exhibitions include the Bronx Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; El Portal del Arte Contemporáneo (ARCO) Madrid; Centro de la Imagen and Galeria Lamm, Mexico City; Galeries Khadrberlin, Berlin; Arlington Museum of Contemporary Art, TX; Center of the Visual Arts, Denver; the Austin Museum of Art at Laguna Gloria, Austin, TX; the Institute of Visual Arts, Milwaukee; Blue Star Art Space, San Antonio; and the Elizabeth Dee Gallery, NY. He was selected for an ArtPace residency in 2001 by Jerome Sans, an independent curator and co-director of the Palais de Tokyo, Paris.
As an artist and graphic designer, Ramirez processed and deconstructed the media world in which he lived. His work employed visual and conceptual techniques found in contemporary advertising and package design. Using typography and digital imaging technology, Ramirez isolated and recontextualized familiar objects and texts to explore the human condition. Always personally relevant, Ramirez explored cultural identity, mortality and consumerism through his photographs and installations. The images in his 1997 series, Coconut, slyly subverted stereotypes of those who cross cultural boundaries. Yet in his later work, Ramirez resurrected waste-photographing filled garbage bags, dying flowers, and battered, empty piñatas-reflecting on the fleeting nature of human existence while imposing the will to survive.
The estate of Chuck Ramirez is exclusively represented by Ruiz-Healy Art. Blue Star Contemporary Art Center would like to thank Patricia Ruiz-Healy for helping make this exhibition possible.