KaitLynn Markley/Courier Fernando Arzu, of Los Angeles, looks at a painting at the “Yo Am; I Soy” art exhibit at Pasadena City College on Thursday, February 28, 2020. The art was created by artists Abel Alejandre and Eloy Torrez. The paintings were created by artists Abel Alejandre and Eloy Torrez and focus on Latinx culture tied to the idea of machisimo in Mesoamerican life.
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The gravity defying metal sculptures by artist Jacci Den Hartog show art and sculpture fans the beauty of different landscape and rock formations in tall dark figures or even smaller pieces full of color. Across from Hartog’s work in the V Gallery, paintings and drawings show Latinx culture in Mesoamerican life by artists Abel Alejandre and Eloy Torrez and present the struggles of aging as a male and the significance behind machismo.

Jacci Den Hartog has been showcasing her art in Southern California since 1991 and opened her “Blood and Bones” exhibit on Feb. 18th in PCC’s Boone Family Art Gallery. She uses different types of metal with aqua resin to recreate her idea of landscapes and rock formations that result in colorful and interesting shapes. Hartog’s piece titled “Nojoqui Falls” has a stainless steel base and contains steel, aluminum, and aqua resin to create a waterfall.

KaitLynn Markley/Courier
“Nojoqui Falls,” 2017 from the “Blood and Bones” art exhibit at Pasadena City College on Thursday, February 28. 2020. The sculpture was created by artist Jacci Den Hartog with stainless steel.

Besides the large landscape formations made by Hartog, the V Building is displaying the work of artists Abel Alejandre and Eloy Torrez with their exhibit titled “Yo am; I Soy”. Their focus is on the Latinx identity and Mesoamerican culture in Los Angeles communities.

“This painting shows the struggle of trying to control something that won’t allow it,” said Fernando Arzu. “Even though the bull is rampant, we are still trying to control it and it represents also trying to control life itself.”

Alejandre specializes in drawing and wood cut printmaking, and his art revolves around the sense of identity in the male figure with symbols like a rooster, a bull, or the nopal cactus. 

“These paintings have so much detail with their fine lines,” said student Angie Lara. “They’re very aggressive, the faces are trying to make eye contact with you the entire time you’re in here.”

Torrez specializes in oil paintings and the representation of human psychological behavior while showing parts of Latino culture he grew up around.

“The pieces are empowering in subtle ways, I think that it forces uncomfortable topics to be thought about,” said student Kylia Dearbone. “I see topics of racism, catholicism, equality, things as simple as portraits that you’re able to look at in the eyes, but some are sometimes uncomfortable to look at and you can really identify with them.”

Jacci Den Hartog’s “Blood and Bones” exhibit is part of PCC’s Artist-in-Residence program and PCC will be hosting the Artist-in-Residence program for Jacci Den Hartog’s “Blood and Bones” exhibit. The Artist-in-Residence program brings artists for a weeklong event on campus where they can showcase their work and speak to faculty and students about their journey into the world of art. Hartog will spend the week of Mar. 16 to Mar. 20 on campus to present her pieces of work.

Abel Alejandre and Eloy Torrez also get their chance to interact with faculty and students during the Pasadena Art Night Reception on Friday, Mar. 13 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and their own gallery walkthrough on Thursday, Mar. 26 from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. in Gallery V108.

All exhibits will be running until April 10. The hours for the Boone Gallery and Gallery V can be seen here.

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