Pequod Co. is pleased to present Mauricio Limón de León’s first solo show with us, Fallen Like Snake Skin, from April 27th to June 11th, 2022.
Perceived as an impersonation of the snake’s skin, the exhibition starts off with a set of xylography polychrome works that represent the abstraction of a collection – consisting of 27 wood carved masks – titled Performing White Skin (begun in 2018). Inspired by Mexican carnivals, the art of some West African tribes —specifically, those ritual objects incorporated into the European collecting circuit— the current exhibition FalIen Like Snake Skin presents some of those masks operating as sculptures and as objects that have been activated through performances and videos, addressing concerns related to the distribution of power and the value of the object in contemporary art.
From a self-portrait mask, the show is an exploration of vanity and self-mockery that will follow through several pieces. Based on a research and practice of artisanal processes, materials, organic qualities, transmissions and symbols, there is a set of new works appealing to diverse canons of beauty that go from the tribal-art to the subjective-abstraction aesthetics, delving into the craft processes and their role in the production of symbolic objects.
Starting with a brand-new ebony mask which portraits a self-absorbed young woman, evoking the aesthetics of the Baule tribes in Ivory Coast; dedicated to the veneration of fertility and reminding of a Victorian mirror, this mask has a handle in the shape of a hand that holds the protagonist's vanity and functions as a double mirror for its wearer. It can hide and at the same time become pure vanity, in the sense of the narcissism and cult of beauty.
Another appealing piece is an ebony wood carved sculpture that plays the role of a Totem, inspired in the crocodile’s teeth and an admiration to rituals, animals, and nature; this totem dialogues with the organic materials that are involved in the making of the pieces that surround it; we can perceive the manufacture involved in the making of a leather hybrid-sculpture; created in collaboration with Wirrarika artists, Ramón Carrillo and Josefina Venegas. This piece comes to life from the disassembling of Huaraches (a traditional Mexican leather sandal) and its conversion into a piece of art. In the same way, including a collaboration with French-Hungarian fashion designer Sophie Massun, lives a dress made from Wirrarika necklaces made with colored beads, concluding in a work that uses artisanal aesthetic and changes its final form. This kind of exchanges and collaborative pieces is a constant throughout the exhibition, for example is a “canvas look like” made from dried palm leaves, another piece in collaboration with artisan Isidro Ruiz or a set of serigraphy’s made with an experimental technique of potassium alum and ink on wooden panels, produced with TorschlussPanik workshop.
Through various media arranged as an installation the visitors will find masks, xylographs, paintings, leather items, beaded necklaces and a range of materials and applied techniques that privilege and at the same time confront manual work with our relation to the overproduction of objects and artifacts from daily life. Thus, the project interweaves a sense of domesticity across an exploration of devices, techniques, and informal economies.
Special thanks to:
Production of pieces in collaboration with Wirrarika artists, Ramón Carrillo and Josefina Venegas
Wood carving by Israel Pedraza
Production of xylographs and screen printing on wood pieces with TorschlussPanik; Luciana Astuto and Fernando Campos