Joe Peña
"Nocturnal Musings"

"Quick Stop Revisited, Late into the Night", oil on canvas, 2022, 36"x 36"

East Gallery
November 12 - November 27, 2022

Opening Reception:

Saturday, November 12, 6pm-9pm

ARTIST STATEMENT

My work explores elements of ethnic identity, including aspects of cultural, familial and social issues, relating to my Mexican heritage. This current series explores the use of urban landscapes utilizing food trucks, store fronts, and similar venues as a metaphor for the notion of home as an internal sense of place and not merely a physical location.  During a late-night visit to pick up food from a truck that I frequented, I was surprised to see that the streetlight that usually lit the area was not working, resulting in the normally ordinary view to appear as if hovering and emerging from the blackness of space.  Some might have regarded this scene in terms of isolation or foreboding; I was instead struck with a sense of welcoming and belonging leading to the aforementioned concept of home.  Aesthetically, I am fascinated with the illuminated structures set against the rich darkness of the backgrounds in some of the paintings or the interaction of light between figures, objects, and locations in others.