SAN ANTONIO, TX.-
The San Antonio Museum of Art
debuts an installation Ry Cooder/Vincent Valdez: El Chávez Ravine.
El Chávez Ravine was commissioned by Ry Cooder, the Grammy Award winning guitarist, singer, and composer. In 2004, Cooder hired San Antonio artist Vincent Valdez to paint a mural on a vintage 1953 Chevy ice cream truck, the subject of which would be the late 1950s displacement of the Los Angeles Chicano community by the developers who built Dodger Stadium. Cooders album on this theme, Chávez Ravine, was released in 2005. For his research, Valdez used old maps of early Los Angeles and various texts and testimonies from the Los Angeles Housing Authority. He also interviewed residents and descendents of the Chávez Ravine evictions, and used Cooders album as a format for the layout and overall feel of the project. Valdez painted the truck in oils, which took nineteen months to complete.
For San Antonio artist John Hernandez, the invitation to develop a new installation at SAMA afforded an opportunity for Hernandez to play with a recurring theme in his work of the past several years. Inspired by the childhood stories from classics such as Aesops Fables and Mother Goose, as well as by fond memories of Walt Disney movies and the colorful posters of the psychedelic era, the lively environment of Zoe's Room is composed from the artists earlier sculptures as well as new work, including wall paintings and drawings. As is characteristic of Hernandezs previous installations, sculptural objects are positioned on the walls amidst newly painted imagery, while also scattered throughout the space. Exhibited along with Vincent Valdez's colorful Chávez Ravine, this exhibition promises to be fun for all ages.
Ry Cooder/Vincent Valdez: El Chávez Ravine is supported by the Helen and Everett Jones Exhibition Endowment and the City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs. Additional support for John Hernandez: Zoes Room is provided by the Sarah E. Harte and John S. Gutzler Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation. The installations will run through August 2, 2009 in the Cowden Gallery.