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When asking the artist rafa esparza about what he is working on, his answer almost always involves friends, family, and fellow artists. That’s because esparza, who has become one of Los Angeles’s most cherished artists, sees the job of the artist as inherently collaborative. As a recent example, this past summer, esparza and performance artist Cassils brought together a whopping 80 artists to form the In Plain Sight team, which enlisted airplanes to spell out urgent calls to action above detention centers: “Stop Crimmigration Now,” “#DefundHate,” and more.
This Thursday, November 19, esparza will deliver a special lecture at the Hammer Museum, in which he will discuss several years of work. Central to his practice is his Latinx upbringing in Los Angeles. His installations, including one at the Hammer Museum in the 2016 Made in LA biennial, often involve filling pristine galleries with rich adobe materials that have been traditionally used in Los Angeles — formerly Mexico — for centuries. The artist learned how to make adobe from his father, Ramón Esparza.
“I continue to be inspired by artists who are unapologetically themselves, expanding and breaking from the canon by virtue of daring to dream big from their subjective positions that have been systemically and institutionally marginalized,” esparza wrote to Hyperallergic. “Many of them make up a community of makers, and thinkers that I am lucky to call friends, peers, family.”
When: Thursday, November 19, 6:30pm (Pacific)
Where: Online at the Hammer Museum
More info at the Hammer Museum