Observing (A)trophy Life - Celebrating Our Luxury of Social, Personal and Political Addiction.
David Freeman is an artist from McAllen, Texas who explores immigration, border issues and the war on drugs.
He has been featured in The New York Times as a prevalent artist pushing social-political work beyond "border nations”.
Observing (A)trophy Life is an in-depth examination of the complexities of Border-Nation culture. Gold trophies, piñatas, decadent frames and bright colors draw viewers in while animal skulls, AK-47’s, barbed wire, and swastikas demand a reevaluation of what exactly is being celebrated. (A)trophy life is a surprise party you did not see coming.
Make no mistake, this is not an exhibition built on exoticism, shock, or lush eye-catching imagery. This exhibition is about reflection. Decadent mirrors filled with text push one to reflect on the outside viewer's role in enabling a culture in turmoil to thrive. It becomes clear Freeman’s work is just as much about the privilege, responsibility, and participation of the outside viewer within these topics as it is the drug cartels, immigrants, politicians, and border patrol agents. Observing (A)trophy Life - Celebrating Our Luxury of Social, Personal and Political Addiction will be on display at Leon Gallery through July 16, 2016
Trophies are celebrations of victory; they are mementos to some achievement or success. My trophies, an accumulated assemblage of token trophy styles are embellished with symbols and objects collected from flea markets and yard sales in Mexico and Texas. These trophies embrace the mirroring of a reliquary concept but multi task as an acknowledgment of something that has been won in battle too. They celebrate the dark side of victory and speak of a horrific time and event that exists in my backyard. One of violence that is acted out purely to impress others in the basest acts of terrorism, the Narco- terror campaign in Mexico.
This work thus represents a system of contradictions of the identities of good and bad battling one another. These truths are mirrored in juxtapositions of contradiction. The first being the utilization of a plastic commercial process such as a trophy as a medium of fine art, full of devised icons of instant recognition and communication, presented in a lowbrow process. The second being that there exists a living presence and blending of cultures and ethnicity in south Texas, yet we seem so indifferent to what is happening in Mexico. I aim to overcome the wave of mediocrity I find in American activism today and inspire a self awareness and allegiance toward a civil revitalizing force, if by no other means but through the message of a Trophy artwork.
About the Artist:
David Freeman is an artist from McAllen, Texas who works in photographypainting and mixed media sculptures. He has exhibited at the International Museum of Art and Science in McAllen, TX, and has had two solo-exhibitions at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art in Brownsville, TX. He has also completed an artist residency in China where he worked heavily in ceramics. Due to his engagement within the art community both nationally and internationally, he has been featured in The New York Times as a prevalent artist pushing his political work beyond Texas and the border-nation. Visit his work at davidmfreemanart.com
Learn more about Leon Gallery here