René Arceo


Local Artists in Purgatory
, 1996
Linoleum cut print

This is a work I did in response to the fact that everyone sins, including artists, and everyone suffers in purgatory for the sins committed. I thought about artists like Marcos Raya, Alejandro Romero, Carlos A. Cortes, Mario E. Castillo and Hector Duarte among others. Their actions motivated me to create this piece. I also wanted to do it as an homage to traditional retablo painting by merging contemporary events and people with traditional elements of religion from our cultura. The background in the print shows a number of buildings from the Chicago cityscape. The central crucified figure represents our indigenous people who have perished over the centuries to the encroachment of western values and motivations. Printed by the artist.





Chaos at the End of the Millennium
, 1995
Linoleum cut print

This piece came from the tumultuous 80s and 90s that gave us all the suffering of civil and ethnic wars in Latin America, Europe and Africa. Military invasions continued, countries split, bombing here and there and the unknown expectation towards the new millennium. The end of the world according to religious fanatics, a dim hope for the future. The fact that the world is filled with extreme contradictions. The planet yields enough food to feed the world population yet nations in Africa are starving to death. Big budgets are allocated for war and invasions while very little goes to solve issues of education, literacy, homelessness, and hunger in "the richest country in the world." Printed by the artist.




Homage to Carlos Cortez, 1999
Linoleum cut print.

Carlos A. Cortez has been and continues to be a spiritual and artistic guide for me. As a printmaker I identify with him and feel he is my connection to the great Mexican printmakers Leopoldo Mendez and Jose Guadalupe Posada. I admire him for his independent thinking and convictions, the way he brings understanding to the reality of the barrios through his prints, poetry and activism. I depicted him with his well known calaveras, coyote logo signature, and other graphics he has created. I wanted to capture an easiness, enjoyment, and happiness in his face and surround him with the images he created. I wanted to capture the spirit of a realized individual content and satisfied with his life and contributions.

This piece was printed by artist/ master printer Tomas Bringas at the TALLER MESTIZARTE in Chicago, Illinois.

El Alacrán, 1998 Linoleum cut print

This piece is a contemporary version of the loteria game. Since I was a child I remember playing this game with the whole family sitting by the sidewalk of the town and using cacahuates, frijoles, corn or anything else to play with. All kinds of stories around the community were told during these playing sessions. It was a time to hear the real news and also the most inventive chismes. The scorpionrepresents a dual characteristic in animals: the beauty and ugliness. Beauty, for its design and engineering in the way scorpions are built and ugly because of the dangerous poison it offers. Graphically the piece was inspired by and it echoes the indigenous sense of design. This piece was printed at the TALLER DE GRAFICA GALIGO in Melrose Park, Illinois who produced the portfolio "LA LOTERIA."

 




Homage to Carlos Cortez, 1999 Linoleum cut print

Carlos A. Cortez has been and continues to be a spiritual and artistic guide for me. As a printmaker I identify with him and feel he is my connection to the great Mexican printmakers Leopoldo Mendez and Jose Guadalupe Posada. I admire him for his independent thinking and convictions, the way he brings understanding to the reality of the barrios through his prints, poetry and activism. I depicted him with his well known calaveras, coyote logo signature, and other graphics he has created. I wanted to capture an easiness, enjoyment, and happiness in his face and surround him with the images he created. I wanted to capture the spirit of a realized individual content and satisfied with his life and contributions. This piece was printed by artist/ master printer Tomas Bringas at the TALLER MESTIZARTE in Chicago, Illinois.