“An American Family” by Cristobal Valecillos at The McLoughlin Gallery

by Admin on 04/09/2013

Cristobal Valecillos’ latest body of work on view in “An American Family” at McLoughlin Gallery was created out of the artist’s reflections upon the diversity within contemporary society, both the multiculuralism of its people and the disparity of socio-economic statuses. Closely observing new American family paradigms, its values and lifestyle, Valecillo’s portraits eruditely capture the fluctuating definitions of an American family’s backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures. The models he uses to structure his at times amusing and always intriguing narratives are all second or third generation, real American families– in many ways inspirational figures of the at times convoluted immigration experience, which is one of the most unifying definitions of being American.

The ingenious installations within the gallery exhibition spaces transform waste and left over packaging materials into fashion, art and domestic design. Valecillos reinterprets these elements and materializes them into a new, useful purpose. Valecillos says of this facet of his practice, “my goal is to show people that fashion is not only about consuming and wasting… Rather than creating waste, I am converting it into beauty, and I am reminded that we can express ourselves in extraordinary ways by using the most basic elements.” Valecillos photographs are not all overwhelmingly pleasant, he shows all sides of the experience. From a broken bike to the CCTV camera nestled above the humble home, which was constructed in a parking garage, Valecillos also gives dignity and a voice to those who live within the very antithesis of luxury and the ideal, homelessness, acknowledging those who do not have such utopian family lives in cardboard homes. The ambiguity of message and ambivalence of this portrayal of “An American Family” is an intriguing one to experience at McLoughlin Gallery.


Cristobal Valecillos, “An American Family” will be at McLoughlin Gallery through April 27