Tonight is gonna be amazing!
-- Survival in the SF Bay Area as an artist of color is #nojoke.
Come build, learn and strategize with local artists and friends! Get gamed up for free!
Financial District SF
6pm Opening reception for
"Money is killing me."
DJ Sake Onederful playing music at 6pm with the wine and snacks.
Check out the art, say hello to our local artists.
7pm Ani Rivera talking with us about legacy of Latinx art and money in SF. 8pm we get performance from MC Chhoti Maa, Mission stories from Norman Zelaya and revolutionary poetry from
Tongo Eisen-Martin. Everyone invited. All ages. My USF students coming, my kids, my friends....Gonna be extra! Thanks to all the artists who are featuring their work and some who will have prints for sale. Jesus Barraza Melanie Cervantes Josue Rojas Julio Cesar Morales, at Sergio de la Torre.
"... The work of Josue Rojas confronts the viewer with dizzying compositions loaded with pop-culture imagery, artistic references, cultural allusions, and poetic verse to create a dreamlike narrative that requires almost literary inspection to comprehend."Read More
From BU today:
“I am a product of community arts,” says Rojas. “I wouldn’t be doing it had someone not taken the time to give a kid a bucket of paint and a wall.”
He credits the Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center in the Mission District of San Francisco with helping him find his path. A native of El Salvador, he came to California with his mother and three older brothers when he was just a toddler. His introduction to painting came at a fortuitous time: he was 15, and his father, who had remained in El Salvador, died that year.
“I grew up not knowing much of my origins, just a little bit, food and culture,” says Rojas. “Through the arts I was able to find a lot of my own history and origins. So storytelling on the walls via murals really appealed to me. I learned a lot from that.”
Ample evidence of his explorations could be found in his cheerfully cluttered 808 Commonwealth Avenue studio: pictures that blend traditional painting with elements of collage, cartoons, and street art. He has returned to Central America for public art projects, and in Boston, he led a School of Visual Arts partnership with Roxbury Prep Charter Middle School students, teachers, and staff to create a 175-foot street-side mural at the school.
Now Rojas wants to give back, through teaching and community and public art programs, what art has given him.
“I want to tell stories, stories of Americans, international stories, and transnational stories,” he says. “I think it’s important right now, in our era of globalization, for us to understand ourselves and understand other people, those who are interested in coming here and those who are not. As the world is becoming more connected, it’s important to know who we’re connecting with and how we relate.”
"Lester the Lion"
Oil on Board
30" x 40"
During my time at the BU graduate studios I've had a series of small and large blessings. One large blessing has been the befriending of a Mr. Lester Henry, whom I affectionately call "Lester the Lion." Lester is a native of the island of Jamaica and his smile, his presence, his humorous manner and wit radiates joy. He's a young soul for a man in his mid-70's.
He's the parking attendant at the BU 808 Campus. During tumultuous mornings building up to crits, or during days loaded with snow so thick you'd think the sun would never rise again, Lester made me smile, "Be of good courage, and put your trust in the Lord and 'e will steng'ten your heart" he'd say.
Many people have said the same of Lester. He's our angel in the AM.
Lester Lion, my big brother. I salute you.
PS: Lester kissed the painting when I gave it to him, "O' sheet! It's meee!" he said.
See the Boston Globe's Site for a digital clipping
“The Joy of Exile,” Rojas’s painting installation festooned with wall drawings, has the quality of a fever dream: roiling color and gesture. Violent imagery leavened with pop culture references. Incantatory text.
The piece tells the tale of migration. Rojas calls it “a celebration of human mobility.” The painter was born in El Salvador, and his mother moved the family to San Francisco when he was small.
The installation doesn’t take for granted the devastation of being uprooted. The first image is of a corn kernel before its propulsive pop.
Rojas’s paintings sprang from his sketchbooks, where he poured his art before he had a studio. “This gave birth to that,” he says, showing off a sketchbook version of the painting “Son,” which features a broken tree, a clown swinging on gymnastic rings, Mayan numerology, and Central American birds.
“Some of it is ambiguous for me,” Rojas admits. “There are moments in the creation where I’ve completely submitted to the process. The challenge has always been to put the books on the canvas. I think I’ve arrived at that.”
This weekend was a great opportunity to share the installation as well as to partake in the BU graduate open studios at the 808 campus. So many friends came out to show their support and interest in the work! It's overwhelming.
My my mind and heart are with the migrants who perished in their journey for a better life and instead found their end out near the Italian Coast.
As a person who had to live through a forced migration, I am heartbroken and this tragedy strikes close. The numbers are staggering: 700 is the low and 950 is the high estimate.
I feel that as we go forward in our collective response, nationally & internationally it is key to examine the story of migrants, the conditions in their countries of origins and to see their plight with empathy. As the causes of such mass migrations become more and more widespread due to violence, misery and political strife. We are witnessing the dark side of globalization.
In my mind echoes the words of Edward Said:
"Our age — with its modern warfare, imperialism and the quasi-theological ambitions of totalitarian rulers — is, the age of the refugee, the displaced person, mass immigration."
Thanks for logging onto Josuerojasart.com. This is the first of many blog entries, to come I appreciate your interest in my work and the issues that it addresses with. I think you will find that art is a powerful vehicle to bear witness to the joys and struggles we all confront on a daily basis. Thanks for coming along on this journey.