Hail César

Julio César Morales has been known to produce achingly detailed pencil drawings, augmented by photo fragments, of exactly where people have been found hiding as they try to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Sewn inside car seats, wedged behind dashboards, or, worst of all, children inside piñatas: Their desperation is difficult to look at, yet lovingly drawn. So, he's a genius. He's also an artist whose craft is sturdy enough to bear the weight of his unflinching visions. At “Sonido Pirata,” he looks hard at cultural bits most people ignore: the carts and quasi-handmade electronic sound systems of street music vendors. Rendered in graphite and also appearing as ceramic sculpture, the pieces highlight, as the gallery puts it, “the adaptive ingenuity of immigrants.” Not everyone can comprehend such a concept, let alone appreciate it, but Morales makes iconography of it.
Oct. 12-16, 2010

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