Colleges Host Exhibits by Mexican Artists

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Byline: Elena Ferrarin Daily Herald Staff Writer

Two local colleges are hosting exhibits by Mexican artists in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Drawings and etchings by Enrique Chagoya, an associate professor of art at Stanford University, are on display at the Safety-Kleen Gallery One in Elgin Community College's Visual and Performing Arts Center.

Paintings by Guillermo Delgado, a Chicago-based art educator, are on display in the Frick Center's Founders Lounge at Elmhurst College.

Both exhibits run until Oct. 15.

'Cultures in collision'

Chagoya, a native of Mexico City who moved to the United States about 25 years ago, said his art is rich in social and political imagery, integrating elements of pre-Colombian mythology, Western religious themes and American pop culture.

"My work is about conflicting cultures, cultures in collision that eventually create a hybrid - something that becomes a blend of cultures," said Chagoya, whose work is in the collections of The National Museum of American Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.

One of the 13 pieces displayed at Elgin Community College is Chagoya's "The Ghost of Liberty," one of the artist's "books." His books are accordion-like works that are separate but attached. Intricate in detail, the work incorporates Mayan imagery and the theme of the "lone ranger."

Also on display at the college is a series of etchings that Chagoya described as "almost a forgery" of 18th-century Spanish painter Francisco Goya's "Disasters of War."

"I love (Goya's) work and wanted to do an update," Chagoya said.

Some of his pieces are satirical depictions of political leaders, such as one of President George W. Bush titled "Poor George," based upon a 1971 work by Philip Guston titled "Poor Richard."

"I don't want to impose my views on anybody. My art, especially my books, are open to interpretation," Chagoya said.

Elgin Community College art student Nick Gonzalez, who visited the Chagoya exhibit, said he was struck by the artist's combined use of religious and sexual themes in the lithograph "Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals."

"He combines the two completely different concepts, Jesus and the superficiality of sexual lust," Gonzalez said. …