The Oak Cliff Cultural Center is pleased to present Lucha Libre 2021, an art exhibition that explores the world of Mexican-style professional wrestling. Curated by Dallas artist and curator Jose Vargas, the exhibition includes painting, photography, and mixed media artworks by artists working in Dallas/Ft. Worth, El Paso, Waco, and San Antonio.
Lucha libre, which translates to “free fighting,” is one of the most popular spectators sports and entertainment of Mexico. This form of sport is known for its fast paced, high flying, and acrobatic style of wrestling, as well as the use of colorful and mysterious masks worn by the wrestlers. The máscaras (masks) are an important element of the sport. Their elaborate designs can be traced back to the Aztecs, as they symbolize gods, animals, ancient heroes, and other well-known Mexican archetypes. The luchadores that wear the masks take on these identities. A mask is a badge of honor that the wrestlers fight to protect.
Lucha Libre has grown in popularity over the years and has been the subject of artists, writers, musicians, and film. The famous Luchador El Santo appeared in both comic books and movies in the prime of his career. This exhibition honors the history and culture of Luchadoras (female wrestlers) and Luchadores (male wrestlers), amplifying the artistry and personas of Lucha whose identity is secret to the public.
Jose Vargas is an independent exhibition curator and visual artist who lives in Dallas, Texas. Jose has displayed his paintings, photographs and mixed media artwork extensively in local and regional art venues. Jose is known for starting the annual tradition of the El Corazon and La Virgen de Guadalupe exhibitions, two popular gallery shows in Dallas. Since 1993, he has organized both exhibitions for the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture and has received praise for his curatorial work.
The show is on view at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center, a facility of the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, from December 11, 2021, to January 21, 2022. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
Accompanying the exhibition will be live programming events.
Saturday, December 11, 6 – 8 pm: Opening Reception at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center
Saturday, January 8, 6 – 9 pm: Tacos & Film Screening of Luchadoras at the Bishop Arts Theatre Center (film screens at 7 pm)
Friday, January 21, 6 – 7 pm: Artists and curator in conversation at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center
The Oak Cliff Cultural Center is located at 223 W. Jefferson Boulevard. Gallery hours are 12 – 6 pm Tuesday-Saturday.
For more information about gallery exhibitions, contact [email protected]m