San Jose, CA
For the fifth iteration in the exhibition series “Beta Space,” the San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA) has commissioned multi-media artist Victor Cartagena to create a large-scale installation based on his interactions with the community. “Beta Space” encourages artistic risk taking and experimentation. Cartagena will create new work that draws upon the rich and varied cultural, environmental, social, and technological landscape of Silicon Valley and the greater Santa Clara County. In particular, he plans to explore issues related to migrant farm workers and food access. Cartagena fled his native El Salvador to escape civil war in the 1980s and has lived in California for over thirty years. The scars of his country’s turbulent history are reflected in his interests as an artist. Cartagena often critically analyzes the effects of war and immigration on a community and uses atypical material such as used teabags, crutches, and sugar skulls, paper constructions, toys, and traditional prints.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.