Erin Currier celebrates a decade of exhibits at Blue Rain Gallery
The small dog barks furiously as I pull up to Erin Currier's South Capitol home and studio, but she assures me he's bound to calm down soon. 20 minutes later, he's like putty in my lap as Currier explains some of the aspects of her upcoming show at Blue Rain Gallery, From Manet to Mexico: Mas Las Meninas, her tenth annual large showing at the Railyard space and a milestone that hits roughly 20 years after her first showing ever at a coffee shop in Taos.
"It's about human dignity," Currier says, "so I portray people from all over the world—Nicaraguan mothers, historical figures, people I meet; every ethnicity, every walk of life."
Around the space, just such people are reflected. One large piece features incarcerated women temporarily let loose to fight the recent California fires for pennies a day; nearby, a portrait of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez looms; a representation of Nicco Montano, the first-ever Indigenous woman UFC champion, watches on. Each piece carries Currier's signature style—one easily familiar to anyone paying attention to the Santa Fe art market—but each subverts and reimagines a classic work from the likes of Gaugin, Manet, Titian and more. These are paintings, yes, but layered with pieces of trash Currier's collected from her travels around the globe; cigar labels and the edges of torn posters, broken down oilcloth and candy wrappers. Currier's been using trash in her works for more than 20 years.
"When I graduated from college, I'd been working as a barista and … I was blown away by how much trash we threw away every day at the coffee shops," she tells SFR. "I started saving it at the end of my shifts, and that's how I got into using recycled materials."
Currier further says her regular travels inform her work. One piece that recalls Titian celebrates Aboriginal women from Australia, where she recently traveled for the first time; another, Manet's Le Balcon. It's easy to draw a line to feminism with the series, but it's even easier to find the humanity.
Further, still, Currier says, "I see my work is very theatrical. It looks like one thing from a distance, a painting, but you get up close and you see it's also made of cereal boxes and cigarette packs." (Alex De Vore)
Erin Currier: From Manet to Mexico: Mas Las Meninas:
5 pm Friday Sept. 11. Free.
Blue Rain Gallery,
544 S Guadalupe St.,
The New Mexico School for the Arts, the state's only public high school for arts education, has moved to a new location in the Railyard. A few weeks ago, SFR sent a reporter inside the new building ("NMSA's New Building is Totally Fabulous," Aug. 16) but now it's your turn to check out the long-hyped state-of-the-art campus in the former Sanbusco Center. Officials says the new location in the Railyard is meant to bring commuter students from further south in the Rio Grande Valley and is in the midst of an up-and-coming arts district a mere block from the proposed Vladem Contemporary, the New Mexico Museum of Art's new satellite space scheduled to open in 2021. RSVPs for the open house are requested, but not required. (Cole Rehbein)
NMSA Community Open House:
1-4 pm Saturday Sept. 14. Free.
New Mexico School for the Arts,
500 Montezuma Ave, Ste. 200,
Tights & Turkey Legs
Wouldn't it be nice to pretend to exist in a time before corporations destroyed the environment, got us all hooked on fossil fuels and created massive industrial weapons of war? For a weekend at the 12th Annual Santa Fe Renaissance Faire, you're free to live out these wildest anarcho-primitive dreams in a time when "horse power" still refers to animals and the most awe-inspiring weapons are, like, fancy-dressed knights with really long sticks. Also, the knights are in tights, and you should be too, because they're the best for dancing to the ye olde musique—besides, you gotta keep your plague sores covered somehow. (CR)
The 12th Annual Santa Fe Renaissance Faire:
10 am-5pm Saturday Sept. 14 and Sunday Sept. 15. $10-$12.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas,
334 Los Pinos Road,
Fly, My Pretties
While we usually try to spread out coverage as much as possible, we're just gonna have to call attention to Meow Wolf again this week, for the return of Flying Lotus is nigh, and all y'all need to know about that. Fresh off the release of his newest album, Flamagra in May—plus an appearance at the Taos Vortex fest last month—producer/songwriter/MC/DJ Steven Ellison has captured something magic at the intersection of hip-hop, electro, techno and dance jamz. Even more so, his live shows are reportedly the sort of things that change people with pristine sound, mind-bending visuals and killer vibes. Yeah, that sounds hippie-ish, but you can't know til you've seen it live, and you won't see it live unless you hurry. (ADV)
8 pm Monday Sept. 16. $35-$39.50.
1352 Rufina Circle,