Paradigm Gallery is pleased to present Immigrant Mentality, a solo show of new paintings, illustrations, and an installation by artist Sean 9 Lugo. Though Lugo’s work is fueled by his own personal stories and childhood, Immigrant Mentality expresses the shared elements and emotions that Lugo feels are part of the immigrant experience. The back of the exhibition is dedicated to a large-scale installation of an art bodega, composed primarily of handmade “merchandise.” Immigrant Mentality will be on view from July 23 – August 22, 2021.
The exhibition is designed to encompass a broad perspective on the culture, community, and values of immigrant families, emphasizing the experience of Hispanic and Latinx immigrants in the United States. The show is centered around 14 new paintings, many of which are based on a trip Lugo took to the Dominican Republic in 2015, including a few directly modeled on photographs the artist took himself. Lugo was inspired by the warmth and selflessness of the people he met living in poverty there. The work El Rey is made on a canvas created entirely of cigar boxes from the Caribbean. On top of the boxes, Lugo painted a Dominican man holding two kittens in his lap; he manifests the man as a king, living his fullest life, relaxing in his own kingdom after years of struggle, finally satisfied.
Immigrant Mentality honors Lugo’s mom, Lulu, who came from Cuba to the United States and worked as a house cleaner to provide a better life for her family; Lulu embodied the drive, work ethic, and generosity that Lugo sees as representative of the “immigrant mindset.” Blue (Lulu’s favorite color) is prominent in the works and represents her presence throughout the exhibition. While the artist’s earlier art reflected the unique circumstances of his life on the streets, this new work is intended to resonate with anyone who has lived as an immigrant or was raised by immigrant parents anywhere in the world.
For more information on the gallery please visit – www.paradigmarts.org