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Jose Ibarra Rizo: Depth Within a Gaze

Mar 30, 2024 - May 25, 2024
12pm - 5pm

2023/2024 Working Artist Project

This round of Working Artist Projects was curated by Dr. Vivian Li, The Lupe Murchison Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA)

About the Exhibition

Depth Within A Gaze continues my exploration of themes that have been at the heart of my practice since 2021, notably the migrant experience in the American South. This latest body of work dives deeper into these narratives, embracing themes of labor, land, and the ever-evolving South.

Central to this exploration is the gaze, which offers a gateway into the intricate personal narratives of each subject. Each gaze holds a universe of nuance and complexity, inviting viewers to engage and observe deeply.

Within this work, labor is a pivotal concept, intimately connected to the universal experience of leaving home in search of a better life. Whether it is the 16-year-old street vendor who just immigrated from Mexico, embarking on a journey from South Carolina to Georgia with her brothers, striving to sell enough bouquets to sustain themselves, or the young Guatemalan immigrant, his yellow boots pushing homeward after a long shift at the local poultry factory, these narratives evoke a deeply familiar yet often overlooked reality within working-class communities. Additionally, this exhibition delves into my family’s intimate connection with labor, prompting contemplation on the fruits—both tangible and intangible—of the sacrifices endured.

While my practice has heavily relied on the narrative power of photography, this latest body of work integrates sculpture and painting. Drawing from the symbols and motifs inherent in my photographs, the sculptural pieces foster a sense of immersion and interactivity, while painting is used to reflect on America’s relationship with immigrants, often characterized by both intolerance and dehumanization

Depth Within A Gaze provides an opportunity for introspection and dialogue on the complexities of human existence within the context of migration, labor, and societal transformation. Through its multi-dimensional approach, the exhibition prompts reflection on the shared humanity inherent within each individual’s story.

–José Ibarra Rizo

Artist Talk May 9th, 2024

About José Ibarra Rizo

José Ibarra Rizo (b. 1992) is a Mexican-American multidisciplinary artist living and working in Atlanta, GA. His work primarily focuses on identity and is currently exploring the migrant experience in the American South. Primarily working with photography, Jose also utilizes drawing, painting, and sculpture in his creative process to convey genuine human narratives. José is the recipient of the inaugural MINT + ACP Emerging Artist Fellowship, one of three awardees for the 2022 Atlanta Artadia Awards, and one of three winners of the 2023-2024 Working Artist Project for MOCA GA. His work lives in the permanent collection of the High Museum of Art, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, and his clients include Rolling Stone, TIME Magazine, and The New York Times.

Major funding provided by the Charles Loridans Foundation, the Antinori Foundation, and the AEC Trust, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.