ANGELES EN MÉXICO: ROMA | Micheal Swank
Dab Art is pleased to present ANGELES EN MÉXICO: ROMA, a solo exhibition of photos by Queer Artist Micheal Swank. This online exclusive can also be viewed on Artsy.
ANGELES EN MÉXICO: ROMA is a collection of 21 photos by queer artist Micheal Swank. This online exclusive comes a time of personal crisis. In December 2018 Micheal tested positive for HIV. This recent medical diagnosis left him feeling isolated and vulnerable. For a gay man who lived through the 80’s and 90’s epidemic of HIV and AIDS, Micheal knows all to well the stigma and tragedy that this diagnosis means. As an american citizen currently residing in a foreign country, this news meant the possibility of having to relocate back to the U.S. and leaving his beloved Mexico.
Like many artists Micheal is finding inspiration through adversity. He has created a new series called Angeles en Mexico selecting his own neighborhood of Colonia Roma located in the Cuauhtemoc borough of Mexico City. A district rich in culture, food and art and the source of Micheal’s Angeles. Finding solace and comfort through friends and art, Micheal’s Angeles Series was created to bring awareness to those living with HIV.
Growing up Catholic, Micheal’s childhood experiences with God and organized religion made him reconcile early on with his own sexuality and moral ideology. While it was clear he would live as his authentic self without the looming judgment of the Catholic’s position on homosexuality; he kept with him many of the stories and principles of his religious upbringing. The angeles in Micheal’s new series are used as a metaphor for those affected by his diagnosis and for those who have supported him. Akin to the Bible; in Micheal’s HIV journey, some angeles fall and some angeles rise.
This exhibition is a bright, exploding tumbleweed of body parts, irregular shapes and contrasting colors confounding the distinction between organic and inorganic. Through expressionist compositions and surrealist methodology, Micheal finds new awareness through his photos. Fearlessly engaging with abstraction and manipulation, he’s created 21 contemporary works through processes of layering and erosion. Each work seems to capture a solemnity of artistic gesture, as well as the sorrow of its impending disappearance.
Curated by Yessíca Torres