Whether it’s reacting against patriarchy, pixelation, or the oppressive austerities of midcentury Minimalism, the use of crafty patterns in contemporary visual art has always had a political charge. But several of the 26 artists in this exhibition — jointly organized by El Museo del Barrio, the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture and the Bronx Council on the Arts — make those politics even more explicit by combining decorative motifs with images of the body.
The Peruvian-born photographer Cecilia Paredes, most notably, and the Trinidadian artist Marlon Griffith, who started out as a Carnival designer, make alluring, disorienting color photos of patterns painted directly on the skin. And Keisha Scarville, who teaches at the International Center of Photography, alters copies of her father’s 1955 Guyanese passport photos with more or less violent elements of collage. WILL HEINRICH
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