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El Narciso de Jesús by Ray Smith; curated by Taiyana Pimentel

Ray Smith's exhibition is on view at La Tallera from December 2nd- March 18th 2018.

El Narciso de Jesús at La Tallera; Cuernavaca Morelos

El Narciso de Jesús is a monumental exhibition of the most recent artworks of artist Ray Smith, retracing steps taken in both cities that have been home to his artistic production over the past two decades: New York City and Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Mirrors play the central role in this showing of works, transfigured into psychological ignition switches exposing multiple readings and opening up spatial multiplicities; seemingly, Smith has sublimated the psychological complexities of the figure of “Narcissus” in our time by imbuing the tumultuous circulation of online images with the potential to reinvent itself as visual and political messaging.

Curator: Taiyana Pimentel

Overlaid across more than a hundred mirrors installed for this show, a bomb blast of color and various references to figures from contemporary United States politics paradoxically construct an organized chaosthat is reminiscent of Siqueiros’ all- encompassing, yet conflicted, visual discourse.

The exhibition comprises:

96 painted doors and mirrors produced by Ray Smith in his studio in Cuernavaca

72 paintings with mirror spray on Plexiglas

24 works on mirror from the collection of Isaac Metta Metta (Mexico City)

A sculptural ensamble which aims to the depiction of nowadays chaos.

This exhibition includes a collaboration Ray Smith worked on from 2010 through 2012 with Tonatiuh Pellizzi, the irreverent co-founder of various art collectives in New York City active during this time. Entitling their work Border Paintings, after days of reflection and collaborative brainstorming, the artists decided to stretch out canvases across the ground along the border at Yturria Ranch, Smith’s family ranch in Southern Texas, where he has spent long spans of time witnessing one of the major territorial conflicts in the world, an experience the artist has drawn upon to formulate the political stance he sets forth in this artistic creation.The Road is a manifesto of contemporary migration-archeology; the force of the horizontality of the execution, in clear contrast with the verticality of their exhibition, is reminiscent of the American abstract expressionistic gesture.

Smith belongs to the generation of artists who challenged the visual canon of Western modernist painting during the eighties, developing critical visual strategies in line with newer modes of pictorial construction; many of these artists became associated with the neo-expressionist stances that found their nexus in the New York art world during these years. Even so, Smith’s work stood out due to the influence of Mexican muralism, a legacy he adopted early on in his career. In this exhibition Ray Smith resumes his ongoing dialogue with this great school of Mexican painting, conversing withSiqueiros’s exploration of polyangularity during his years at La Tallera, here explosively repurposed in an extreme act of visual profusion.



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