LAND is thrilled to announce the opening of Raquel Albarran's first solo exhibition, Horses and Meatball Toes at the Albert B Chandler Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Curated by Phillip March Jones of March Projects, the show will run from January to June of 2018.
When asked in a recent interview how many days a week she worked on her art, Albarran replied, “Monday through Friday including Saturday, Sunday. If it’s optional, Saturday, Sunday.” The specificity of her answer is partly driven by Albarran’s penchant for clarity but also from the weekday schedule she maintains at LAND where she has worked since October 2016. At LAND, Albarran makes work that is delicious and disgusting, focusing almost exclusively, or at least prominently, on food.
Albarran’s relationship to food is both consuming and conflicted. She draws things she should eat: bananas, carrots, broccoli, apples, grapes, beets, and avocados. She draws things she shouldn’t eat: ice cream cones, bacon, waffles, lollipops, soda, and cheeseburgers. Some of the more menacing food items boast eyeballs or taunting and grimacing smiles. Brand names of particular delicacies are clearly denoted and confusion is thus avoided; Pepsi Cola and Log Cabin Syrup seem to be personal favorites. The food items are often surrounded by mouths open and ready to chomp or toes ready to pounce. More recently, horses have come into the picture—mostly eating their way through Albarran’s brightly colored compositions.
In a larger sense, Albarran’s drawings demonstrate the very real physical and medical relationships that exist between our bodies and the foods we use to fuel them. Hierarchies and warning signs clearly exist but are placed within the safe confines of graphically appealing and luminously colored drawings. In this way, Albarran’s work speaks to an obvious but mostly ignored reality of cause and effect rendered with a host of seemingly harmless, almost idyllic, landscapes and characters.
We would like to send a special thank you to Phillip March Jones for organizing this exhibition.