Opening August 5th, ArtXchange Gallery is proud to present Estrellas del Norte Al Sur [Stars from North to South], our debut solo exhibition featuring Oaxacan-American artist Fulgencio Lazo. Lazo is an internationally recognized artist whose vibrant abstract paintings and sculptures are an exploration of cultural identity and the power of community. Iconographic motifs and symbolic representations that are characteristic of his Zapotec heritage, like masks, candles, toys, and musical instruments, are symbols for the shared experiences that strengthen and define a culture that celebrates family and community. “I take these experiences in and with my brush, I transform them into a symbolic language and render them universal”, says Lazo.
My world, like all of humanity’s, has been upended by the global pandemic, humanitarian crises exacerbated by climate change, and massive movements for racial and social justice. This trifecta requires that we transform ourselves and our institutions. As an artist I must visually show what transformation looks like.Fulgencio Lazo
In his newest body of work, Estrellas del Norte Al Sur [Stars from North to South], Lazo addresses the universal migration of families from one place to another - with a special focus on children’s experiences. Using synthesized lines and symbols, he aims to highlight the elements of a culture and reveal the essence of what migrants carry within when embarking on their journeys. “These paintings, produced over the last fourteen months, focus on themes of transformation”, says Lazo. “My world, like all of humanity’s, has been upended by the global pandemic, humanitarian crises exacerbated by climate change, and massive movements for racial and social justice. This trifecta requires that we transform ourselves and our institutions. As an artist I must visually show what transformation looks like”.
“I aim to create warm, vibrant images that celebrate family and community. Whether at a wedding, at an outdoor market, or on the street corner where neighbors gather, these shared experiences strengthen and define a culture. Using iconographic motifs and symbols, my work expresses my Oaxacan Zapotec heritage and history.”
Fulgencio Lazo works between his studios in Seattle, WA, and his hometown of Oaxaca, Mexico. Having immigrated to the United States in his mid-twenties, Lazo has used his creative practice to preserve the cultural traditions that sustain his identity as a member of Mexico’s indigenous Zapotec people, with a particular focus on its traditional music and communal practices. The experience of immigrating profoundly affected his artwork, as well as his commitment to social issues and community.
Over the last three decades, Lazo has worked to promote and grow the Latino/a/x artistic and cultural scene in Seattle. He has been an integral part of some of the region’s most iconic Latino/a/x traditions, including the Day of the Dead celebrations at Tieton, Seattle Art Museum, and Tacoma Art Museum. Lazo was the recipient of the 2018 Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award and has exhibited his work in more than 50 solo exhibitions throughout the United States, Mexico, France, and Japan.
To be a painter is to have a responsibility to others. Our work must have a purpose. It must give life and hope.