Thursday, July 16, 2009

24 Works on Paper Artists: Narciso Arguelles

To give insight into the works included in the 24 Works on Paper exhibition, Ryan Pack has interviewed some of the participating artists about their work in the show. The exhibition opens Saturday July 18 from 6-9pm at IAO Gallery, 811 N Broadway in downtown OKC. It will continue through August 8 at IAO and will then travel the state for a full year.

Narciso Arguelles
Ryan: If you could write an artist's statement for you piece, what would it be?

Narciso: “El Santo Chicano”, or “The Chicano Saint” in English, is a digital print on gold metallic paper. The art work borrows from the Chicano and Mexican tradition of paintings of Saints on wood, metal or paper, known as “Retablos”. The Chicano movement was born out of the fight for equal rights during the 1960’s. Saints are often portrayed as miracle workers and sometimes martyrs. This images hopes to bring to light the struggle and the sacrifice of many Chicanos as they try to accomplish miracles of social change.
*Note: Some information from Page 210 of “Chicano Folklore: A Guide to the Folktales, Traditions, Rituals and Religious Practices of Mexican Americans” by Rafaela G. Castro. Oxford University Press, USA (November 29, 2001)

Ryan: Would you care to tell us about the technique you used for your piece? And why the technique appeals to you?

Narciso: I teach Digital Photography at Oklahoma Christian University and I teach Digital Printmaking at the University of Central Oklahoma. The piece in the exhibit started as a traditional 4 inch X 5 inch negative shot with an old Speed Graphic bellows camera. The negative was scanned and converted to a digital file. I used Photoshop to correct and manipulate the image. Once I had the image, I printed the image on specially treated gold paper using an inkjet printer that uses pigmented inks.