The Department of Art & Art History at Stanford University is pleased to present Square Root on view on May 11-June 13, with a reception on May 21, 6-8 PM, at the Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery. Square Root is an exhibition of artwork created by Stanford University’s four graduating artists for their final MFA Thesis. The artists include Jeremiah Barber, Jamil Hellu, Juan Luna-Avin and Armando Miguélez.
An artist with a background in performance, Jeremiah Barber creates sculptural projects by mapping his own body. The body maps unfold into abstract forms, and appear as garden plots, dissected animals, or body armor. While time allows the viewers to reconstruct these images into a three-dimensional shape, it is the discoveries in the subtle curves and odd territories of the body that give these works their visual depth. While the majority of works reflect a direct relationship to the artist’s body, one new project is an inflation of scale. This sculpture is a sleepy, translucent head built ten times to the scale of the artist’s head that rests in silent thought, a mirror of the ego. Barber received his BFA from Columbia College, and has exhibited his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center.
Jamil Hellu is a photographer whose work concentrates on the possibilities of photography as a form of visual representation that explores autobiographic narratives and invites viewers to project fictions. Exploring depictions of body language as a personal way of seeing and the intimacy between subject and photographer, he is experimenting with the ways in which a photograph is able to convey emotional responses not only by its content but also by its physical aesthetic and painterly qualities. Hellu received his BFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2007, he was awarded a six-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and granted a Markowski-Leach scholarship in 2008 and 2009.
Juan Luna-Avin is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work examines individual and collective identities through the lens of youth cultures and rock n roll music, placing a strong emphasis on researching the history of Latin American music, especially Mexican punk. In his timeline/genealogy drawing called “CGDLCMPEMDMNSOADD/VE (DF2009),” he includes over 100 punk bands from various cities in Mexico. In his papier mache and wood sculpture entitled “Endless Love,” that includes 47 handcrafted miniature effect pedals and a miniature rock stage as a platform to display the objects, he explores the myth of the performer. In “Expendio Aqui Esta La Musica,” he displays a vendor stand with toys, posters, and other “Mexican-looking” goods that serve as catalysts for bringing Mexican rock music to the mainstream to engage viewers in broader discussions about its socio-historical context. Luna-Avin holds a BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and was the 2009 recipient of the McNamara Family Creative Arts Grant from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
Armando Miguélez’s work addresses issues of displacement in the global era and concentrates on the ways physical environments are organized with a specific focus on cartography and systems of world measurements. His work is interdisciplinary, combining at times photography, drawing, installation and sound sculpture. At the exhibition, he takes on different media, mainly appropriated images and elaborately traced maps. Miguélez attained his BFA from the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico, and has participated in many individual and collective shows since 1998 in Mexico, Cuba, Spain, Argentina, Austin, TX, and the Greater Bay Area.