UMM’s second group of exhibitions opened on April 4, 2015, featuring work by Emily Joyce, Jessica Lagunas and Esperanza Mayobre.
During the opening reception on April 4, 2015, Abstraction at Work invited participants to create a work titled “Testing Antidotes for Tones of Beige: A Chromatic Exercise,” a work to reimagine the color palette of residential homes in Irvine.
Inspired by notebook doodles, hieroglyphics and cave paintings, CAPTCHA 5 takes its title from the internet visual security feature “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA).” CAPTCHA 5 is made up of three distinct layers of space: a foreground and background of floating symbols and a hand-painted, mesh-like plane of parallel black lines which conceals the background symbols. For the installation in the AM gallery, the painting has been propped up by a wall relief of stacked bricks wrapped in white paper. The bricks, props in Joyce’s L.A. studio, evoke the 8-bit graphics of early video games while also asserting a tactile physicality.
With a title playfully referencing the Little Red Riding Hood tale, Jessica Laguna’s video-performance “Para Besarte Mejor” features the artist performing the ritual of applying red lipstick with repetitive gestures for an hour, arriving at grotesquely over-painted results. Laguna’s work reflects on the pressures and obsessions with body image imposed by society, with particular force in Latin America. Born in Nicaragua in 1971, Jessica Lagunas grew up in Guatemala and has exhibited in numerous international exhibitions and biennials, as well as receiving a 2014 Joan Mitchell Foundation Award.
In this conceptual work, Mayobre engages the timely question of immigration, using minimal means to address the poignancy of immigrant labor’s invisibility. In her work, Mayobre uses non-traditional approaches and a light touch to address issues such as immigration and Third World debt. A Brooklyn-based, Venezuelan artist, Mayobre’s work has been exhibited internationally and reviewed in publications such as The New York Times, Arte al Dia and Artforum among many others.
Opening Reception Photos