NB artist’s paintings address gun violence and racism

NORTH BERGEN – As part of The Newark Arts Council Open Doors Citywide Arts Festival, North Bergen artist Ray Arcadio will exhibit works at the exhibit “Sancocho” at 85 Market St. at Gallery Affero and in the exhibit “More Human than Human” at 210 Market St., SEED Gallery. Both galleries are in Newark. Opening receptions will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 6 to 10 p.m.
Arcadio will exhibit a collection of original work composed of surreal portraits depicting popular icons. The images are the artist’s reaction to American culture; specifically, people’s obsession with self image, authority, race, sex, celebrity, and commerce.
In the show “More Human than Human,” curated by Roland Ramos, a painting titled “Big Mouth” from Arcadio’s PopRox series shows a giant round face with a big toothless smile and cartoony images of racist symbols. “American racism is a special kind of brand… packaged and sold to all who arrive and live here,” said Arcadio. Another painting, titled “Gunhead Custer,” depicts a Civil War general whose face has been replaced by the nozzle of a gun.
In the show “Sancocho,” curated by JoEl Lopez, Arcadio offers more images from his Gunhead series, where a man in a suit looks upwards as a gun nozzle slides out from his face. Arcadio is also showing artworks from his InShape series, where every character is circular, square or triangular. These are visual puns that represent our constant need to get in shape and fit in, physically and/or psychologically, within our society or some group in our society.
Arcadio has exhibited extensively around the United States and has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and television shows. Currently his work is part of the We are You Project on exhibit through January at the Human Rights Institute, Kean University in New Jersey; and part of the Freakshow exhibit at Raven Gallery and the Witchery Exhibit at LITM in Jersey City. He has participated in numerous group shows throughout New York and New Jersey and was chosen one of 30 artists to represent the state in the “The Visual Imaginary of Latinas/os in New Jersey,” sponsored by Rutgers University’s Center for Latinos Arts and Culture. His work is in the private collection of the Jersey City Museum in Jersey City; The Museum of Modern Religious Art at the University of St. Louis in St. Louis, MO; and the Museo Moderno de Arte, Santo Domingo, RD.
Ray Arcadio earned his BFA from NJCU in 1991. He has worked as a graphic designer and is the founder of the culture jamming collaborative and street art group Artfux. He currently lives and works in North Bergen.
Open Doors is a citywide arts tour and community event that celebrates Newark’s unique and diverse contributions to the arts and to American culture. Participating this year are over 40 venues hosting visual, performing, and literary art.

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