Mano-Made: New Expression in Craft by Latino Artists – Jaime Guerrero

Mano-Made: New Expression in Craft by Latino Artists is a trio of subsequent solo exhibitions by three preeminent Mexican Californian artists — Jaime Guerrero (8/26-10/7), Gerardo Monterrubio (10/14-11/25) and Consuelo Jimenez Underwood (12/2-1/20).  Each artist employs unprecedented formal approaches to material and asserts conceptual perspectives that have largely been excluded from the canon of the contemporary art world. These three individual artists are unified by their desire to communicate ideas and stories through their works. Each uses craft to articulate messages about American and Chicano culture, personal experiences, Latino and bicultural identity, and the ever-mutating socio-political tensions that exist in California and the U.S. as a whole. The significance of the object as artifact and the role of the artist in sculpting this legacy, is a fundamental pursuit to all three.

For Boyle Heights-native Guerrero, whose show is the first in the Mano-Made series, the spiritual and metaphorical potential of glass to represent a culture at any given time is a pathway for investigation. Jaime is one of the few and first artists in the world to hot sculpt life-size figures in blown glass. The inherent nature of glass in its duality of strength, yet fragility, mirrors the nature of the human body and gives his work added impact.

Jaime Guerrero, Broken Dreams, 2017

Manipulating the medium of glass with pioneering dexterity and imbuing it with unprecedented emotion, Jaime Guerrero has given form to the crisis he sees our nation facing with the ethics of immigration policy, and specifically, the effect of those policies on children. His installation serves to humanize the overlooked unaccompanied minors who are detained at American borders on a daily basis and to juxtapose their reality alongside that of children who come to the U.S. under more fortunate circumstances.

For roughly a decade, Guerrero has focused on generating the human form in blown glass on a large scale. With this mixed media installation, he has created his most compositionally ambitious group of human figures yet. Glass has been used to form vessels that contain physical matter since the beginning of civilization. Herein, Guerrero uses glass to contain concepts of identity, experience, memory, and hardship.

Photos by Madison Metro