COLLAGE ON VIEW
Inside the Bowels of the Hoofed Beast
at Sargent’s Daughters in New York, New York, USA
18 September-26 October 2020
Ruben Ulises Rodriguez Montoya’s sculptures seem possessed. They haunt the viewer. Pressing questions of origin and familiarity, and transfixed with an uncanny foreignness, these figures elicit both awe and fear.
Montoya’s sublime beings are reminiscent of a Rasquache aesthetic, of collecting from here and there, brought to flesh from the abject and forgotten detritus of the desert surrounding the United States-Mexico border.
These calculated gestures then become anthropomorphized and give birth to these otherworldly, illegitimate offspring; while zip ties, brooms, and twine keep these beings tied to this world as vestiges of Brown labor. Like a curandero, he alters daily discarded forms into enchanting beasts, which shapeshift and take on their own form, like fateful nahuales who transform into jaguars.
The animal, the human, and the artificial become one. Montoya’s sculptures are bound, contorted and reconfigured in such a way that they become exquisite corpses, invoking yet transcending our traditional forms of the body. In this liminal space, they demand a second look—not as alien messengers, but as reflections of ourselves and our fractured social landscape.
(adapted from text by Christal Pérez)
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