The scaffolding is going up today—star muralist Curiot flies into town this weekend for Pow! Wow! Hawai‘i, and will replace James Jean’s visitor-favorite wall mural Nervosa III in Luce Pavilion with Just Passing Through. Museum visitors can see the artist at work beginning Feb. 8 (maybe as early Feb. 6—we’ll see). The experience with Pow! Wow! Hawai‘i, Thinkspace Gallery and James Jean went so well, we again partnered with them to fill the largest canvas in the museum. In addition, Hawai‘i’s third annual Exploring the New Contemporary Movement exhibition, curated by Thinkspace Gallery’s Andrew Hosner, opens 6pm Sunday, Feb. 7 at the Art School.
Mexican-born, Southern California-raised, and now Mexico City-based Curiot (aka Favio Martinez) is known for his vibrantly colored depictions of human-animal hybrid figures and incorporation of geometric shapes and traditional Mexican elements. “Growing up in the States sort of gave me a diluted Mexican culture, I had no clue what I was missing out on until I moved back 10 years ago,” he says on his Thinkspace Gallery bio. “The bright colors, folklore, ancient cultures and the beautiful handcrafts are some of the things that I embraced and which influence my work deeply.”
Pow! Wow! Hawai‘i Jasper Wong and Hosner thought Curiot would be the right fit for the museum. “Knowing his color palette this is going to be really something to behold,” says Hosner.
Given free rein for his design, in November Curiot submitted the rough sketch of his design pictured above. He was inspired by historical mythic figures that stood sentry outside cities—such as the human-headed winged bulls of Assyria.
“I looked to the past and remembered the hybrid animals that would adorn the entrances of big ancient cities,” he wrote in an email explaining his sketch. “They would offer protection, and in this case I’ll be painting the creature in a futuristic manner as a symbol of contemporary cities.”
Exploring the New Contemporary Movement will be on view at the Art School February 7-13. Click here for a list of exhibiting artists.