De Soto Gallery presents Joaquin Trujillo’s Mal de Ojo, an exhibition of photographs on view from May 14 to June 28, 2015. The artist will be in attendance for the opening reception on Thursday, May 14, 5 to 7pm.
Mal de Ojo, or the “evil eye,” is a superstition deeply rooted in Latin American popular culture. As a child in rural Mexico, Joaquin Trujillo was believed to be the victim of this spiritual affliction when he contracted scarlet fever and nearly died, suffering permanent eye damage for which he has had repeated corrective surgeries throughout his life.
The images from Mal de Ojo revolve around Trujillo’s experience and are in two parts: fetishistic portrayals of the artist’s own physical and psychological trauma and tabletop arrangements of Mexican folk remedies and collections of personal amulets and totems. Often presented as diptychs or triptychs, usually portraits juxtaposed with still lifes in the form of prints or videos, the scenes deal with the psychosocial aspects of isolation and the inherent need for protection and self-preservation.
Trujillo created the series in India, Mexico, and the US over the course of three years, culling objects and materials with the resources available to him at any given interval. These consistent breaks of time and space are sewn into the fabric of the work. Using a camera to reconstruct the past, Trujillo fills in the gaps with a colorful worldview that emulates a structured slippage of heritage across culture, place, and time.
Joaquin Trujillo (b. 1976, Los Angeles, raised in Zacatecas, Mexico) received his BFA from Art Center College of Design. His work has been exhibited by galleries and institutions including Rose Gallery in Los Angeles, Steven Kasher Gallery in New York, and New Art Projects in London. His work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco MoMA and the Amon Carter Museum in Texas.