Karla Diaz: Wait ‘til Your Mother Gets Home
1639 18th Street Santa Monica, CA 90404
Saturday, February 17 at 5:00 PM 7:00 PM
Ends Jun 21, 2024
Santa Monica, CA (February 1, 2024) – 18th Street Arts Center (18SAC) is pleased to present Karla Diaz: Wait ‘til Your Mother Gets Home, the artist’s first institutional solo exhibition in the Los Angeles area. The exhibition consists of 37 new and recent works on paper and paintings, along with an installation that commemorates Rubén Salazar, the civil rights activist and Los Angeles Times reporter murdered in 1970. The exhibition is on view in the Propeller Gallery at 18SAC’s Airport Campus, 3026 Airport Ave., from February 17 - June 22, 2024. In addition, five self-portraits will be mounted on large-scale banners on 18SAC’s Glider Wall, a publicly visible, outdoor, street-facing space. An opening reception will take place on Saturday, February 17 from 5-7 PM with an artist walkthrough at 5:30 PM. Related public program details may be found here. The title of the exhibition, “wait ‘til your mother gets home,” is a familiar expression Diaz heard frequently from her aunt, who stayed with her after school as a young girl. The phrase is often an admonition, yet it can also be a pleasurable forecast, a request, or a taunt. Toggling between the domestic sphere and the world at large, the phrase suggests a conflation of past and future that is familiar to Diaz. Her artworks operate simultaneously in multiple worlds, those of her dreams as well as the everyday. Diaz’s vivid, narrative paintings and works on paper depict portraits and landscapes of people and places that inform her memories growing up in Los Angeles and México. Karla Diaz: Wait ‘til Your Mother Gets Home features recent works on paper and canvas that focus on American Mexican identity from the 1970s to the present, emphasizing a cultural context of social upheaval and justice through the artist’s explorations of recollection and imagination. The Silver Dollar (2021) is a work on paper that forms the centerpiece of an installation that commemorates Rubén Salazar, the civil rights activist and Los Angeles Times reporter murdered on August 29, 1970, the day of the National Chicano Moratorium protest against the Vietnam War. Following the march, Salazar was having a beer at The Silver Dollar, a neighborhood bar in East Los Angeles, when a tear-gas projectile, fired by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy, struck and killed him instantly. Salazar’s early distinction among journalists in mainstream media stemmed from his unwavering support for the Chicano movement as a Mexican-American, which also earned him an FBI file. Salazar’s activism and tragic death remain an important galvanizing force in Diaz’s community, the greater Los Angeles area, and beyond. Karla Diaz: Wait ‘til your mother gets home has been organized by Irene Georgia Tsatsos, artist and Curator-at-Large at 18SAC. Support for this exhibition comes from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, a state agency, and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
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