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John Guzman: Flesh and Bone
Friday, June 30, 2023
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
John Guzman: Flesh and Bone Opening Reception Featuring Anthony Almendárez and DJ Mexican Blackbird
Opening Reception: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. | Blaffer Art Museum
Join us for the opening reception of artist John Guzman’s exhibition Flesh and Bone at the Blaffer Art Museum. To celebrate Guzman’s first solo museum exhibition, Houston based Afro-Tejana DJ Mexican Blackbird (Fallon Savoie) will be spinning throughout the evening. Artist and composer Anthony Almendárez, joined by musicians Sonia Fires, Justin Jones and Garbiel Martinez, to present a new, live improvisational performance as an adaptation of Almendárez’s multi-channel video installation Hello my Name is ___. This collaborative performance explores labor and the relationships between human and machines through call center script dialogues and improvisational sound. Almendárez and Savoie’s performances are funded by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. Read more about John Guzman’s Flesh and Bone
Through large-scale paintings, Guzman assembles distorted, tangled, and deteriorated figures confined in cramped domestic spaces, concealing their behaviors from others and themselves. He layers heavily textured brush strokes to cut and gouge out a dizzying carnage of disfigured hands, feet, knees, and teeth enmeshed and mangled into new beings. Using a palette of muted colors and dark lines, the pummeling mutilation of the human body creates a visual language for the condition of existence continuing to prevail at the edge of barely living.
A markedly distinct spatial shift emerges in more recent works, pointing to its link between the environment and its inhabitants in the artist’s exploration of new space, styles, subject matter, and attention to simple lines. Working in Connecticut, the artist continues to explore biomorphic forms, yet addresses the fragility and interiority of the psyche and altered landscapes. Throughout the work, Guzman visualizes inexpressible yet consequential conditions of suffering and, in so doing, articulates a departure from cyclical patterns of self-destruction becoming his own reality.