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Lucia Hierro at Charlie James
October 2, 2021 - November 22, 2021
At Charlie James in Chinatown, Lucia Hierro’s Tal Cual pulls the bodega into the gallery. A large-scale mural, Diligencia mimics a retail building’s facade: vinyl decals applied to the wall picture businesses and detritus in the artist’s neighborhood of Washington Heights/Inwood in New York. In addition to the mural, several of Hierro’s Mercado works (soft sculptures of oversized shopping bags that hang on large hooks) are on view. Each bag is made with a transparent fabric so that the items within the bag, each oversized and replicated in plush fabric, are visible.
In Mandaito: Vinagre, Bustelo, 1 Mango, 1 Platano Maduro, Salami Higueral, the title ingredients in the transparent bag suggest a potential recipe while also acting as a type of still life, pulling its composition from the art historical genre. Hierro’s Bodegon series continues in this vein, blending references to the artist’s Dominican culture with foodstuffs and domestic objects cropped into tight compositions. Hierro’s works both toy with the purity of the art historical still life and celebrate Latinx culture, while being critical of the ways in which larger global forces (like food production and supply chain) play out in American life.
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Photo: Lucia Hierro, “Tal Cual” (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery. Photo: ofstudio.