From Politics to Spirituality

Ramses Noriega's retrospective inagurates The Latino Museum's new space

By Dora Munguia
Published on LatinoLA: September 13, 2002

From Politics to Spirituality

If you asked world-renowned artist Ramses Noriega if he's content with his career, he'd tell you he feels "blessed."

However, if he had to do it all over again, he wouldn't.

"It's been a harsh career," he admitted as he urged for continued support for art at a recent reception for his opening exhibit at The Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture in downtown Los Angeles

From now until November 30, the newly relocated exhibit space will display 70 of Noriega's art pieces in his 39-year retrospective "From Politics to Spirituality."

After much financial and legal suffering, the Latino Museum has found a new temporary home across the Los Angeles City Hall, beneath the streets down in the corridors of the Los Angeles Mall. There is also an online-based art education program in the works.

There isn't any other museum that caters to Latinos in heavily populated Los Angeles. "Where's our space?" exclaimed a frustrated museum board of trustees' member, expressing the instability of the museums location and lack of local Latino historical sites, to the art patrons.

Noriega posed a similar concern. "There are millions of Latinos here, but Latinos are not represented [correctly in the art world]?there's only wings in the museums," Ramses said.

The reopened Latino Museum and Noriega's exhibit promises dignity and recognition for Latinos in the art world.

Over 200 art lovers, collectors and supporters attended the event. Museumgoers feasted on hors d'oeuvres, delicias y aguas dulces while the harmonious Veracruz sounds of Son Real played in the background.

Intermingled mediums of etchings, oils, acrylics, watercolors, mixed media and drawings are closely displayed on the walls of the small space. Noriega's work has been described as transcendent; the retrospective captures the essence of Latinos.

He is truly a voice for the voiceless. It is apparent in the vendor of "El Menudero" and in the three women disfigured physically, socially, and spiritually in "Desgracias", which depicts contemporary women's emotional belief of ruin when they don't look a certain way.

Also, one of my favorites, what "Divorce," can do to a man. Traditionally men are deemed as being able to cope with divorce. The painting suggests otherwise. The woman and matrimonial vow's failure to stay together till death, haunts him.

The Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture is open Monday thru Saturday 10 am - 4 pm. Admission is free. It is located at the Los Angeles City Mall, 201 N. Los Angeles Street. Call (213) 626-7600 or log onto http://www.TheLatinoMuseum.org for more information.

Visit Ramses Noriega's website at http://www.Ramses-art.com

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