Rigo 23, a Los Angeles–based Portuguese artist known for painting large-scale outdoor murals, is considered part of the first generation of the San Francisco Mission School art movement, which emerged in the city’s Mission District in the early 1990s. For nearly three decades, his socially engaged work has focused on addressing injustices, notably highlighting Leonard Peltier, a member of the American Indian Movement who was convicted of killing two FBI agents during a shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975 and whose two life sentences have been the subject of much debate. Rigo 23: Ripples Become Waves will be the first presentation of the artist’s statue of Peltier after its contested removal from the American University campus in early 2017.
Rigo 23: Ripples Become Waves features works that emphasize the artist’s longtime advocacy for social and political change, specifically calling attention to the incarceration of political prisoners and the plight of indigenous communities in the United States. The exhibition takes its name from a quote by Robert H. King, former political prisoner and cofounder of the Black Panther Party chapter at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, who said, “The deeper they bury you, the louder your voice becomes. You throw pebbles into the pond, you get ripples; ripples become waves; the waves can become a tsunami.”
Rigo 23: Ripples Become Waves opens to the public with free admission on January 14, 2018.
Alongside conversations and performances, The Main will present a series of self-care workshops on Sunday afternoons throughout the run of the exhibition. Workshops will be facilitated by Native elders, artists, and educators, including Charmaine Bee, April Bey, Julia Bogany, Olivia Chumacero (e.i.m.), and Sarita Dougherty. Bilingual English and Spanish workshops will also be offered by Felicia Montes of Mujeres de Maiz and Victor Narro of the UCLA Labor Center. A full schedule of programs for the exhibition will be announced later this fall.
ABOUT RIGO 23
Rigo 23 (b. 1966, Madeira Island, Portugal) lives in Los Angeles and works globally. He has exhibited his work internationally for more than 20 years, placing murals, paintings, sculptures, and tile work in public situations where viewers are encouraged to examine their relationship to their community and their role as unwitting advocates of public policy. Rigo’s works live both as artworks and thoughtful public interventions and have been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) and the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles; the New Museum and Artists Space, New York City; and the Museo de Arte Contemporanea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His work has been included in the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India; Aichi Triennial, Japan; Shenzhen Hong-Kong Bi-City Biennial of Urbanism and Architecture, China; Auckland Triennial, New Zealand; Lyon Biennale, France; 2006 Liverpool Biennial, United Kingdom; and 2004 California Biennial, among others. Rigo received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA from Stanford University.