Jorge Guillén
Angle of Reflection
July 16 - August 27, 2020

I remember spending so many nights in a busy restaurant or bar, usually walking into a place that was loud made it feel like there was sense of privacy; a place where you could meet up with an old or new friend, discuss your day, your relationship, your job, your discontent, and feel as if no one was listening to you. I think of the many happy and sad conversations I’ve had in public spaces with my friends, family, and strangers. I wonder if we will be able to go into these spaces with the same comfort again, when now we have a fear but also feel a sense of obligation and concern for each other’s health.

Much of my life has been about fostering community and relationships and I am grateful to have all of that during this time. It has meant going through many ups and downs with everyone and constantly leaning on each other for help. Now more than ever we all welcome that and I hope for a future where we are all compassionate of each other and feel responsible for one of another in times of need. I was born to immigrant parents from El Salvador and grew up with two sisters. My parents were constantly moving us into new neighborhoods, trying to find better work and generally better education for us. This meant that my community growing up was my sisters and we stuck to each other like there was no one else in the world. They helped me understand the importance of love and collaboration. I think as I moved into the rest of my life, I carried that understanding with me and I apply it to people that come into my life. I want to be able to provide friendship and care that is there for the best moments and the worst and to show someone that I believe in them, because if we don’t have each other it’ll be difficult to tackle the world. I believe those feelings also come from being a person of color in the United States. When you are constantly confronted with a world against you, you hold on to everything that is love and will hopefully make you strong moving on.

I guess with all that said, that is what these paintings are about. They are about a lot of things: Love, reflection, bad times, good times, and last times. When I first started making some of these paintings, I was thinking about windows, mirrors, reflections (physical and mental) and what they can show you. They all represent a moment of being there through it all which is important during this time, especially as our world has unfolded. When I put my life into perspective, I realize that these painting are about friendship and love and without those I honestly don’t think I would be able to make them.