ART Magazine. San Antonio, TX.
The large-format photograph Seven Days: Breakfast Tacos by the late Chuck Ramirez is now part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum permanent collection. The work will be included in the upcoming exhibition, Our America: The
Latino Presence in American Art from October 25, 2013 to March 2, 2014.
Our America, organized by E. Carmen Ramos, Associate Curator for Latino Art at the Smithsonian American
Art Museum, will feature more than seventy works in a range of media, drawn exclusively from their Latino Art permanent collection. Chuck Ramirez’ Breakfast Tacos will be exhibited alongside works by other leading contemporary Latino artists, working in the US from mid-century to the present. “We are so pleased that Chuck’s work is being properly recognized at a national level, especially by such a prestigious institution. The inclusion of his work in the Our America show, along with artists like Ana Mendieta and Vic Muñiz, will bring another perspective and layer of understanding of his work,” says Patricia Ruiz-Healy, owner of Ruiz-Healy Art and a committed advocate of Chuck Ramirez’ artistic legacy.
Seven Days: Breakfast Tacos is representative of this tendency. One in a series of seven highly formalized tableaux documenting the remains of seven distinct, already-consumed meals, Breakfast Tacos is replete with specific references: foil taco wrappers, plastic salsa cups, beverage cans and mostly-empty coffee mugs. Taking visual cues from local tastes and popular culture (often including references to regional food chains, characteristic packaging, or culturally specific events) as well as the long artistic tradition of the vanitas still life painting, the Seven Days series addresses the fragility of life, by using symbolic reminders of life’s impermanence.
Chuck Ramirez was a major force in the San Antonio art community before his untimely death in a 2010 cycling accident. A 2002 Artpace resident, Ramirez’ work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. As an artist and graphic designer, Ramirez employed the visual and conceptual techniques found in contemporary advertising and package design, isolating and re-contextualizing familiar objects to explore cultural identity, mortality, and consumerism through his photographs and installations. His works is currently in several permanent collections such as: the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, San Antonio Museum of Art, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, The European Museum of Photography, Paris, and now, the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
For more information about the artist contact Ruiz-Healy Art, the exclusive representative of the state of Chuck Ramirez. To visit Ruiz-Healy Art contact them at 210-804-2219 to schedule an appointment. www.ruizhealyart.com