Upon first glance, the image featured in Gonzalo Fuenmayor’s charcoal drawing may seem familiar. The recognizable 21st Century Fox logo blazes brightly out from the dark background, perhaps bringing to mind the iconic intro song and the beginning of countless films. However, looking closer, you may notice that the original text has been replaced with a different phrase: “God Bless Latin America.”
This work is by the contemporary Colombian artist Gonzalo Fuenmayor, who studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and currently lives and works in Miami, Florida. Having lived in both South America and North America, the artist examines his personal experience with transnationalism in the 21st century along with that of countless other Latin American immigrants to the United States. Within his analysis of transnational experience, Fuenmayor explores topics of identity, language, culture, commerce, and immigration.
The artist is especially interested in the growing influence of Latin American culture in the United States. By fusing a common North American logo with a phrase directly referencing Latin America, Fuenmayor comments on the presence of Latino culture and the Spanish language in American pop culture. This work alludes to film in particular, but the artist also cites Latino influence in American music, art, and society in general. In this way, Fuenmayor seeks to convey the intertwined relationship between Latin America and North America, through a mode of visual bilingualism that expressly blends references to the experiences in both cultural contexts.
In this section of the exhibition, Fuenmayor is in conversation with other contemporary artists who call us to consider identity, nationality, and immigration in a world with blurred borders.