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RON COOPER

Irony And Enigma


203 FINE ART

203 Ledoux Street - Taos - New Mexico 87571 Eric Andrews ~ Shaun Richel (575) 751-1262 art@203fineart.com www.203FINEART.com


RON COOPER Irony And Enigma 203 Fine Art presents an exhibition of Ron Cooper’s flattened bottles and phrases; twenty five years of artwork created in Old Mexico and New Mexico, from 1990 to 2015.

Artist’s Reception: Friday, May 1, 2015 4 - 7 pm Exhibition Dates: May 1 - May 31, 2015


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or almost three decades, Ron Cooper (born 1943) has split his time between Taos, New Mexico and Oaxaca, Mexico creating art that reflects the culture he has immersed himself in, while working to-

wards sourcing, bottling, and importing the finest single village Mezcal, Del Maguey, from remote villages in the state of Oaxaca. His Mezcal has been nominated four years running for a James Beard Award, and now it is time to celebrate the entire creation of the artist’s journey. Throughout his time in Mexico, Cooper learned to speak using the local Oaxacan Spanish dialect, borrowing phrases from the ancient Nahuatl speakers who spoke in poetic puns and contemporary Spanish speaking Zapotecs, Mixes and Mixtecos continue the tradition of using language as a type of poetic game, communication where intent is valued far more than literal Anglo/Germanic style of communications. This exhibition of artwork represents the largest body of Oaxacan works Cooper has exhibited at one time, in one place; and the hope is to have the exhibition travel to the Pacific Standard Time: LA LA (Los Angeles - Latin America) exhibition being mounted by the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2017.


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pending a third of the year in Oaxaca for the past two decades, living with the Zapotec people and immersing himself in their culture has, over time, inspired Ron Cooper to create a series of work based on the tradition of dichos: Colloquial

sayings that are part of the Spanish language and culture. Using minimal found materials including plastic bottles, hand-painted in sign painter’s enamel with dichos and mounted on an assortment of plates and trays, mostly plastic, some of the bottles contain things like dried grass or agave; some have bugs and bits of dried plant matter glued to them. “I stole them,” he says guilelessly, when asked about the dichos he’s used for this body of curious work. These sayings and proverbs are far removed from the more formal (and recognizable) dichos common to Hispania and are in fact, particular to the Zapotec villagers with whom he spends his time while in Oaxaca. These humble vessels of language and decay, battered, broken, rolled over and rendered ambiguous and enigmatic by time and the elements, marked with language shorthand, they serve to remind that we too reside in impermanent containers, no matter how much we might attempt to cosmetically or otherwise alter that reality.


Studio in Oaxaca, taken over by Mezcal


Hanging in San Luis del Rio


Pancho training Burro


Sra. Irene


Paciano Cruz Nolasco (San Luis Palenquero)


Ron Cooper with Anthony Bourdain, sipping Mezcal at Monte Alban


Familia


Santa Catarina Minas


Faustino Garcia Vasquez (Chichicapa Palenquero)


Ron Cooper: "Irony And Enigma" at 203 Fine Art, Taos, NM  

203 Fine Art presents an exhibition of Ron Cooper’s flattened bottles and phrases; twenty five years of artwork created in Old Mexico and Ne...

Ron Cooper: "Irony And Enigma" at 203 Fine Art, Taos, NM  

203 Fine Art presents an exhibition of Ron Cooper’s flattened bottles and phrases; twenty five years of artwork created in Old Mexico and Ne...