Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Through Collaborative Work, Centering Queer, Brown Folks, rafa esparza Looks to Destabilize Artistic Authority

By Carmen Hermo
Rafa Esparza’s building: a simulacrum of power, 2014.
An insistent rootedness in the histories, land, and life of Los Angeles can be felt in rafa esparza’s performances, installations, and paintings, which are all focused on his brown, queer community. His works open the possibility of sharing resources and destabilize artistic authority, and they put the spotlight on brown Americans of Mexican, Central, and South American origin or descent, predominantly queer folks, living in a city whose artists and longtime inhabitants are fighting erasure and gentrification. Esparza sees collaboration as an essential part of a practice centered around community. [More]

The following is one of several extended looks into figures and institutions selected for “The Deciders,” a list of art-world figures pointing the way forward developed by ARTnews and special guest editor Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean. See the full list in the Winter 2020 issue of the magazine and online here.
Rafa Esparza, RePartida, con Alejandro, 2017.