Rico Deniro’s month long ‘Native Expatriots’ show at FIFTY24SF Gallery will be opening tomorrow (Saturday) at noon. For the show, Rico has presented people that live outside of technologically based civilizations in the rural villages of Mexico with images of first-world pop culture icons and employed them with one task: to interpret those icons in a traditional Mexican wooden mask. The craftsmen of these masks have no reference point to these images, no sense of importance tied to the celebrities that they were given, no inundation of cultural significance by media sources – and instead translate the images into form at a completely superficial and innocent level.
The resulting masks show these idols at a level which we rarely see them: exposed. Not in the way that the news media ‘exposes’ celebrities, because in that case there’s a symbiotic dependency – but in the way that these idols are exposed for their lack of substance other than the media and marketing that convinces us of their substance.
The masks created in Mexico will be on display at FIFTY24SF Gallery at 218 Fillmore Street, San Francisco from January 6th, 2011 – January 26th, 2011.
(Photo taken by Estevan Oriol)