KHFA exhibition archives

Carlos Donjuan and Luke Harnden

December 14-January 18, 2014
Opening reception Saturday, December 14, 6:30-8:30 pm
Artists will be in attendance

The upcoming show at Kirk Hopper Fine Art pairs two unlikely artists. Carlos Donjuan paints imaginative, colorful panel works, while Luke Harnden creates conceptual multimedia works that incorporate light and space. Though aesthetically differing, the two artists share similar origins, deriving from comparable art movements in the beginning stages of their careers. Both heavily immersed themselves in the Texas street art and graffiti movements of the mid 1990s until the mid 2000s. The diverse range of technique and conceptual consideration exhibits the divergent paths of two prolific individuals whose shared histories have rendered vastly different results.

Carlos Donjuan
Let Me Be Your Favorite Nightmare

Carlos Donjuan's current body of work exhibited in Let Me Be Your Favorite Nightmare relates to the idea of illegal aliens. As a kid, Donjuan recalls hearing the term frequently, but never fully understood the meaning. He states, "I always wondered what everyone meant by illegal aliens, imaging weird creatures in my head . . . I wanted to meet one and to know what they looked like." As Donjuan grew older, he discovered that some condemned him due to his background, a realization he describes as heartbreaking. He comments, "I wasn't much different from everyone else except for the fact that I was born on the other side of the border."

Donjuan now utilizes the negativity he encountered to fuel his work, revisiting his childhood curiosity: what do illegal aliens look like? He interprets these childhood memories in his paintings, creating masked figures, hybrid animal people, pyramids and blob creatures—representations of immigrants who journey to a better life.

Carlos Donjuan was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and currently lives in Dallas. He received a BFA from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2005 and an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2008.

Luke Harnden
Maw N Paw

In his exhibition entitled Maw N Paw, Luke Harnden offers a range of new works that call attention to the light and shadow that illuminate volumes of space lying within and around constructed forms. Utilizing found objects and industrial elements such as mirrors, lenses harvested from projection televisions, and various fabrics, Harnden creates interactive pieces whose deceptive simplicity, upon further examination, opens realms of abstruse spatial complexity.

Several of the pieces in this series incorporate thin transparent film stretched over trapezoidal mirrors that shrouds viewers' awareness of space, disorienting their perceptual experience. The tensions that arise with our need for disambiguation are punctuated by visible tacks that affix the hazy fabric in placea presence, leaving an impression of trauma.

The title of the exhibition stems from a play on words demonstrating the slippage that can occur in the context of written language. "Maw N Paw" references ideas of security and safety within nurturing environments, as well as the impartial and sometimes harsh realities of natural existence. Harnden's work evokes inconstancy of memory and the thingness of light, and explores perceptual shifts that occur over passage of time and movement through space. The objects and installations that he creates document the process of material as well as conceptual exploration.

Luke Harnden currently attends the University of Texas at Dallas and is a founding member of the artist collective ArtBeef. He is also instrumental in the programming and daily function of the project space known as BeefHaus, an alternative venue operating outside of conventional models for commercial and non-profit spaces.

Luke Harnden, Passage #4, 2013, mirror, fabric, oak, tacks, enamel, 24" x 37" x 2"
Carlos Donjuan, San Jancito, 2012, mixed media on birch panel, 48" x 72"