Robert Mateo Diago in collaboration with Willie Baronet and Cristella Medrano
at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary through July 7th
by Todd Camplin
Issue based art is often difficult to make and many times subtle as a chainsaw, but Robert Mateo Diago
in collaboration with Willie Baronet, Cristella Medrano, and the community at large take on this heavy
topic of homelessness with the angle of accessibility. This ongoing show at The McKinney Avenue
Contemporary will launch a second opening this Wednesday, June 20 in this exhibition space of
installations, photographs, and collages.
|© 2007-2012 moderndallas.net. - all rights reserved.
|I was first drawn to Robert Mateo Diago’s houses. These sculptures come in green and yellow with
a variety of sizes and limited supply. The work can be picked up and examined by gallery goers,
where on the bottom, they will discover a one word message. The yellow houses are new for Dallas
and he uses local culture and design periodicals, then he paints over the wood blocks covered
in the various layers. Then the hubcaps caught my eye, where each wheel is brightly colored
with a word referencing money painted in a lighter tone. These discarded parts of cars act as
a commodity for homeless to turn in for cash. And of course cans are a part of this story. Mateo
Diago created a piece out of cans. that total value was $3. Some of which he collected
himself from public trash cans.
|Like the houses Mateo Diago offers people to participate in his projects. One powerful piece was
his simple question on a postcard asking people what they thought of the homeless. The answers
ranged from poetic to crude. But in democratic style, he displayed them all in a video installation
inside an overturned dumpster.
|108 Affordable Green Homes
*Individual pieces: 4w x 4d x 4t, 6t and 8t
Floor Installation: Various dimensions
Wood, Latex House Paint, Plaster, Newspaper/Magazine, Various Gel Mediums
Word stamped on bottom – latex paint.
r mateo diago
*These houses are meant to sell individually and removable upon purchase.
|Though the crowd contributed, artists Willie Baronet and Cristella Medrano completed the show
with their pieces. Baronet’s purchased signs from the homeless community bring in the work of
the people with first hand witness accounts summed up in each of their signs. The fact that
these works are hanging suspended in the air helps you imagine a person behind each one.
Medrano’s photos are of quiet, empty urban spaces acting as refuge for the homeless. The
images only show evidence of people living there.
Installation: Various dimensions
Cardboard/Paper signs collected from the homeless
|Untitled (shopping cart)
20 x 30 inches
Acrylic mounted photograph
9 Hub Caps, Spray Paint, Latex House Paint
Individual: Vary, 13, 14, 15, 16 inches
Installation: Approx. 6 x 6 feet
r mateo diago
|“home•less•bound” is the type of show that helps you engage with the issue of homelessness without
being overly preachy. These artists are just asking everyone to step outside their comfort zone and
talk a little about it, maybe engage someone, or even get involved in helping, Just don’t ignore
the problem. The show goes until July 7th.