Justin Favela: Re/Presenting México: José María Velasco and the Politics of Paper

In the project room: photographer Mikayla Whitmore

David B. Smith Gallery

March 29 – May 4, 2019

  • Opening Reception: Friday, March 29th, 6 - 8 pm Free and open to the public/ Artist in Attendance
Justin Favela, Self-Portrait (1894), 2018, tissue paper and glue, 26 x 20 x 1 in. (66.04 x 50.8 x 2.54 cm)

Recently traveled from a three-month solo presentation at the Berman Museum, David B. Smith Gallery is pleased to exhibit Re/Presenting México: José María Velasco and the Politics of Paper, by Las Vegas-based artist Justin Favela.

Continuing his dialogue with the works of Mexican landscape painter José María Velasco, row by row, Favela meticulously replicates Velasco’s iconic works in strips of brightly colored tissue paper. Velasco, recognized as one of Mexico’s most prominent artists of the late 19th century, leaves behind a legacy of Mexican nationalism that is still palpable in his affectionate depictions of El Valle de México and other famous scenes. In paying homage to the works of Velasco, Favela explores the intertwined heritage of nations and individuals. Presented in the main gallery, Favela’s playful piñata-style works speak to celebration while questioning present-day conversations of identity. His hybrid practice utilizes craft materials and techniques, at times incorporating installation, relational, and performative elements to his practice. In Re/Presenting México, Justin Favela widens his repertoire of Velasco inspired piñata paintings that add humor to historical dialogues while creating new narratives for contemporary art audiences.

About Justin Favela

Justin Favela is a Las Vegas native working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, and performance. His work draws from art history, popular culture, and his Guatemalan/Mexican heritage. Selected exhibitions include Crystal Bridges Museum of Contemporary Art (AR), Denver Art Museum (CO), Contemporary Arts Center (NV), the Berman Museum (AL), and the Nevada Museum of Art (NV). When not in the studio, Favela is probably watching television or co-hosting his podcast Latinos Who Lunch.

David B. Smith Gallery
1543 A Wazee Street
Denver, CO, 80202