Collection: "Large Dream Soul Memories" organized by Isaac Vazquez Avila (online exhibition)

About the exhibition:

My paintings are infused with fragments of memories, elements from photographs I take and references to specific dates or markers of time. They draw upon design elements gleaned from photos of ephemera I collect and from exploratory walks both within and beyond the boundaries of San Francisco, my home. I find purpose in documenting and collecting vernacular visual culture, embracing everything from the artful layout and graphic design of vintage car magazines, lettering books, posters, and hand-painted signs and elusive inscriptions on walls and sidewalks that punctuate the city. 

My fascination with signs is due in part to my profession painting signs for local business and commercial clients named Avila Mio signs and murals—a paint shop that I operate. This symbiotic relationship is reflected in the appearance of ambiguous letter forms and text within my work. Spiritually, I’m guided by the insights of Tomas Ibarra-Frausto, who delves into the redemptive potential of rasquache, a concept advocating resourceful ingenuity. I also draw from Carlos Almaraz's vivid urban imagery, which often mirrors conflagrations of city life. Additionally, the mythos of border crossing, as envisioned by my performance artist neighbor Guillermo Gomez-Peña, significantly shapes my artistic direction. The end.  

Curating work from the NIAD collection for this online exhibition was a very difficult thing to do. There are so many talented artists making exciting work and I could have easily added 20 more to my list. I responded to these works because they tapped into a wide range of early adulthood memories and recent experiences that caught me in a sweet web of nostalgia.

A few threads I saw running along the selected work was a detailed study of American popular culture, a wry sense of humor, and a love for the subject matter represented. This latter aspect is what hooked me about each piece, its ability to communicate personal (or personalized) observation and love for familiar subjects from our natural and man-made world. Whether this is a correct interpretation of  the works I’m not sure, you will have to personally ask the artists. - Isaac Vazquez Avila

About the organizer:

Isaac Vazquez Avila (b. 1983, Mexico City) is a painter and sculptor living in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. Avila received his BA from San Francisco State University in Latino/a Studies and an MFA in 2016 from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to his practice, he runs Avila Mio Studio, a business designing murals, creating hand painted signs and custom art installations for public and commercial clients. Avila has exhibited his work at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco; Right Window, San Francisco; Tlaloc Studios, Los Angeles; and pt.2 Gallery, Oakland.

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