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Nery Gabriel Lemus
Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, California
Recommendation by Genie Davis

Nery Gabriel Lemus, “Immigrant Landscape #4,” 2018, watercolor on paper, 17 1/2 x 23 1/2”

Continuing through June 2, 2018

In “A Place Called Home” Nery Gabriel Lemus combines beautiful, delicate imagery and a powerful subject to deliver a somber and stunning elegy for what were once American values. The subject is immigration, and the artist pays tribute to Emma Lazaurus’ 1883 poem “The New Colossus,” written to raise money for the construction of the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal. Lemus responds with detailed watercolors of the desert landscape — images of the harsh environment many Latin American undocumented immigrants attempt to cross to reach what was once a refuge. A large floor sculpture, “Three Unknown Females,” is a memorial to unknown women who perished crossing that desert. The piece incorporates 15 painted welcome mats in an homage to hand-made Guatemalan alfombras — dyed sawdust rugs made by women like these. But perhaps most powerful of all are Lemus’ ceramic tablets. These sculptures record the moving stories of immigrants who came to the U.S. to pursue a better life for their children. These pieces are both memorials and grave markers — for the death of a way forward to achieve what was once the American Dream

Charlie James Gallery

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