Noelle Mason

NewCity by Jamie Keesling

Review: Razquache/Betty Rymer Gallery

Rasquache refers to a melding of sensibilities, such as high and low class or folk and contemporary styles, with issues pertaining to pop culture, political activism and class struggle. The show’s title, “Razquache,” marks a specifically Chicagoan postmodern exploration of these issues by seven artists using found objects and materials at hand. The show includes works in a variety of mediums, from small diorama-memorials to large-scale paintings and installations. Curator Marcos Raya’s pieces are among these larger works. Drawing upon his previous experience as a muralist in Pilsen as well as the aesthetics of Mexican-style memorial shrines, Raya addresses political concerns such as war and drug trafficking through the use of painting, found objects and collaged imagery from popular culture. Among the other works of note in the show are Noelle Mason’s commissioned fiber-based works. “Janus (Workhorse)” includes a wool rug made in Mexico by Jose Antonio Flores and Jonathan Samaniego in exchange for the amount of money it would cost two people to illegally enter the U.S. The rug depicts a striking image of the U.S./Mexico border captured by satellite, illustrating the stark contrast in the land due to control of natural resources by irrigation. This show is worth the trip out to Columbus Drive. Catch an artists’ roundtable discussion at the gallery on Thursday, September 11 at 6pm. (Jamie Keesling)

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