On Friday, April 28, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego will open Cerca Series: Yvonne Venegas, Tijuana Portraits at MCASD’s La Jolla location.
MCASD commissioned Tijuana photographer Yvonne Venegas to create portraits of the artists in the upcoming exhibition Strange New World: Art and Design from Tijuana/ Extraño Nuevo Mundo: Arte Y Diseño Desde Tijuana. The resulting Cerca Series exhibition presents this body of work, which examines the genres of portrait and landscape photography.
Venegas asked each of the artists she photographed to select the location of their portrait. By opening up the photographic shoot to the chaotic conditions and unexpected events of a particular place, she expanded the parameters of her commission, from the characteristic focus on the physical features of the sitter, to the representation of place.
Each of these works captures the likeness of an artist but also collectively portrays Tijuana and the borderland, mediated through her sitters’ individual points of view and diverse personal experiences and memories. As documents, Venegas’ portraits record the variable physical and psychological spaces connecting places and their inhabitants.
Yvonne Venegas is the second recipient of MCASD’s annual stART Up Award. The award was launched by stART Up, the Museum’s affiliate group for young professionals, to honor regional artists of exceptional promise. The intention of the award is to encourage and support emerging and under-recognized artists with an annual exhibition. By acknowledging the achievements of regional artists, stART Up Members hope to foster a vibrant arts community in San Diego. The first stART Up Award recipient was Jaime Ruiz Otis in 2005.
The stART Up Award reception and exhibition’s opening celebration, which includes a Q&A with the artist, will be held 3 pm Sunday, May 21 in La Jolla.
Yvonne Venegas was born in Long Beach, Calif., and was raised in Tijuana. She now divides her time between Mexico City, Tijuana and San Diego. Venegas graduated from the full-time certificate program at the International Center of Photography in New York and is currently completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the University of California, San Diego.