Feature Articles

April 2014

City Art Gallery in Columbia, SC, Features Works by Sergio Maciel

Gallery Director Wendyth T. Wells is proud to have the opportunity to exhibit University of South Carolina MFA candidate exhibition COLORS by Sergio Maciel, on view from Apr. 10 - 19, 2014. A reception will be held on Apr. 10, from 6-8pm.

This body of work presents Maciel’s dilemma in his place in society along with friends of varied backgrounds. He has chosen color for his primary tool to express his view of how he envisions some of the inequities and mobility issues of people from differing backgrounds and experiences.

“This series was created as a statement on ethnic stereotypes and racism in America. My work is meant to show the viewer the subtleties of racism that exist, using examples or terms I have witnessed personally or through the experiences of my friends and family. I want the paintings to create a dialogue with the viewer and have them question themselves and society. The work is meant to be subtle yet in-your-face, by not having the text as the main focus of each piece but having it play just as strong a role through its subtlety,” says Maciel.

“The work focuses on three major elements; the figure, text, and color,” adds Maciel. “The background and text are painted in similar colors to convey the subtle undertones of these different racial slurs or derogatory terms that represent the different ethnicities. The text is painted in such a way that it covers the canvas and becomes a design element within the background. The figure is then painted to convey a reaction to each term, partially covering the text, leaving it to the viewer to complete each term with the letters that are still visible. The figures are roughly painted, creating a sense of struggle and contrast between the figure and the text. The idea is to create a visual resistance or battle between the text and the figure.”

“My work as a whole represents an issue that still exists in our society whether it be racism or classism. The differences between people will always exist, but understanding and respecting those differences is where my point is to be made. The melting pot that is the inner city is what drives and influences my state of mind or passion. Though it is far from right or perfect there is a common respect for others within the struggles of life that is somewhat genuine and not felt everywhere. Like many people, I get frustrated with certain individuals in society, and it seems being fake or politically correct instead of having a true mutual respect is the new norm. As an artist I express my ideas through my work and feel that the work should not just be visually appealing but also convey a message that can resonate with people.”

Sergio Maciel was born in Chicago, IL, in 1982. In 2005 as a young artist living in Chicago he had his first show “Just a Thought”. He then decided he would have to leave his hometown to focus solely on his art. In 2007, he moved to Miami, FL, where he attended Miami International University of Art & Design. In 2010 Maciel received his BA in visual arts and was chosen to take part in the Arte Americas art fair in Miami, FL. In 2011 Maciel was accepted into the MFA program at the University of South Carolina where he will receive his degree in the spring of 2014.

For further information check our SC Commercial Gallery listings, call the gallery at 803/252-3613 or at (www.cityartonline.com).

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