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New Muck Exhibits 'the grateful chair' and 'Pensar Y Poder' Examine Life’s Challenges Through Art

The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Culture OC. The information provided has been written by the submitting organization and not by the writers at Culture OC. We include this on our site in the spirit of sharing information about the arts and culture community in Orange County.


Opening Reception: October 5, 5:30-7:00pm | Free to attend

Exhibition on view: October 5-November 24 | $5

On October 5, The Muckenthaler Cultural Center welcomes “the grateful chair” by Dave Webb in the main gallery, and “Pensar Y Poder” by Jimmy Centeno in the north gallery. Using different forms, both shows examine life’s challenges and allow the viewer to process another person’s experience.

Says Muck CEO Farrell Hirsch: "What makes these two shows stand out on our schedule is they're both intimate personal insights into the biggest questions we face --- identity, mortality, love. These themes are essential to art and to life. I have no doubt that anyone visiting The Muck in the next eight weeks will engage in an internal dialogue about how they see themselves reflected in this work."

In a narrative exhibit that includes a video installation, 60 iPhone images printed on metal, and objets d’arte, iPhone artist Dave Webb creates a space to consider love and loss; for him and his spouse, the journalist Melinda Welsh, the saga has been happy as of late.

An LA native, the founding editor of the Sacramento News & Review, Melinda wrote several well-received essays about her terminal cancer for the Times. (“I have terminal cancer. And I’m dying in a yearish,” and more.) Melinda had gone through the usual battery of cancer treatments and yet was declared terminal; she was treated with the “Jimmy Carter drug” and a range of other immunotherapies. She is now cancer-free.

“the grateful chair” is Webb’s seventh exhibit of iPhone art. It premiered in Tracy at the Grand Center for the Arts in March 2023 and will travel north to Davis and the Pence Gallery in October, 2024. At the center of the exhibit is a video installation that is part love note, part meditation on mortality, and part unsolicited advice. Webb calls it a slidesong; the six-and-a-half minute work incorporates 150 iPhone images, an original musical score and a minimalist narrative. The accompanying exhibit of still iPhone images printed on metal provides a reflective counterpoint, moving from the photographic to the painterly, from evocative images of an empty chair to standalone photographs evoking themes of loss, and loss narrowly avoided. Together, they tell the tale of Melinda’s cancer and the response of her artist-husband to this life-changing event.

In the north gallery, Jimmy Centeno’s “Pensar Y Poder” is a solo exhibition curated by the artist - playful, serious, and cosmic from a Global-South perspective. It is an invitation to question: What is power? What does it mean to think? The display of artwork encompasses three dimensional sculptures, photography, installation, and mixed media art. Says Centeno, “My artwork experience is very much influenced by memory, history, and my environment. I enjoy sharing ideas and themes behind my artwork. Culture, experimentation and rescued objects provide the language that allows me the flow of ideas and feelings that are behind my work. I enjoy questioning life with my artwork.” Centeno is a curator and writer. He has curated exhibitions at The Muck, The Jean Deleage Art Gallery in Boyle Heights and several other venues. Centeno is the current curator at Casa 0101 Theater.

Most of Centeno’s multi-media work tilts philosophical and carries the influence of storytellers from the Global South and Mesoamerican mythology. His art attempts to narrow the distance between borders, color/race, and class, to bridge and stitch together our differences. Jimmy also participates in international explorations of philosophy and aesthetics. Centeno was raised in South Central Los Angeles and is the son of immigrant parents born in Mexico. He is a welder by trade with 20 years of welding experience. His experience as a welder has brought him close day in and day out to many realities across different communities throughout the city of Los Angeles. He has organized art lectures at the Vincent Price Art Museum. He has also participated in international conferences on philosophy and aesthetics. He is currently working with renowned Mexican philosopher Enrique Dussel on de-colonial thought. As an artist he seeks to express himself by using all forms of mediums which includes photography, welding, found objects, and painting. His art attempts to narrow the distance between borders, color/race and class. His goal is to bridge and stitch our differences by reducing the distance between us.


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