Opening Saturday, September 27th, from 7:00 to 10:00 pm
In, The Greatest Companions, artist Edra Soto explores sociological aspects of Latino culture and how it is perceived through the media. As the exploratory research subject of this painting and installation show, Soto chooses the Puerto Rican icon Iris Chacon. Ms. Chacon was a pioneer of the ‘vedette’ movement in Puerto Rico in the 1970’s. Her eponymous variety show ‘El Show de Iris Chacon’ was very popular, no doubt due in part to her alluring looks and provocative costumes. This didn’t prevent her from becoming a favorite family entertainer while simultaneously becoming a legendary diva that few other performers in Latin America have been able to emulate.
‘The Greatest Companions’ series of gouaches, reenactments, and self-embellished verbatim paintings from photos, are reflections of Soto’s memories of watching ‘El Show de Iris Chacon’. As a child, she was drawn to her raw, incomparable demeanor, her perceptibly untrained dance style, and her charismatic and charming persona. Channeling Ms. Chacon as her alter ego and setting the paintings in vintage scenarios inspired by her show, the series questions the fascination of Latino women with self-exposure and, how Latino culture is portrayed in the popular media: woman as protector and protected.
The show will also feature works of artists Maria Gaspar, Harold Mendez, Albert Stabler and, one of Soto’s high school senior art students, Ramiro Trejo.
A project space in bridgeport, a neighborhood of Chicago.