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Arturo Vega American Treasure
March 28, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - April 28, 2015 @ 8:00 pmPrice: Free
Arturo Vega (October 13, 1947–June 8, 2013) was a Mexican-born artist who lived and worked in New York City from 1971 until his death in 2013. While he is widely known for graphic imagery that defined punk music and fashion, he was also a prolific painter and printmaker independent of that imagery.
Arturo Vega was influenced by De Stijl, a Dutch movement of geometric abstraction that included the artists Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg, as well as by pop art, citing Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein as two of his inspirations.
As a young artist fleeing the violent repression facing Mexico’s student movement in the late 1960s, Arturo Vega, in paintings and prints, explored the relationships between the symbols of the power of the United States government, advertising, commerce, sloganeering, and corporate logos.
Beginning in 1972 and over the course of his lifetime, he produced between 80 and 90 paintings of an open palm holding a 1972 silver dollar. As Vega lived on the Bowery from the early 1970s until his death, the paintings can be viewed as depicting a beggar’s outstretched palm or as a means of co-opting the power of the symbols of the United States.