OCEANSIDE, California. Mi casa es mi casa. That is what caught my eye when I walked into the Oceanside Museum of Art this past weekend for the opening and reception of Becky Guttin’s exhibit called “We Can Work It Out”.
Guttin’s play on the famous saying is on a large red rug on the floor near the entrance. Behind it, there is a wall painted with colorful stripes that represent the colors of Mexico. You also see the lovely and colorful mythic Mexican animals that are on the windows like huge decals that can be seen and admired from both the outside and inside. Those windows invite you to stop and look. They invite you into the museum. Becky told me that the animals on the window were having a conversation with the stripes of colors on the wall.
Then, there is the mobile of empty houses hanging waiting to be filled. All these things, the wall, the rug, the windows, the empty houses invite you to think about the symbolisms of life in Mexico.
Becky Guttin, a talented artist and sculptress, grew up in Mexico City, but moved to San Diego many years ago. She has had her work exhibited in San Diego [Mesa College, for example], La Jolla, and Tijuana, locally. She has also shown her work elsewhere in Mexico, Israel, and Korea, to name a few. She wanted the exhibit to be a playful installation inspired by her memories of her childhood in Mexico City, using Mexican cultural symbols. For her, it is an exploration of the meaning of home, family and identity, along with the contradictions in life, and the cultural conflicts she struggles with every day.
I especially liked the mythic animals on the windows. Having also grown up in Mexico, for me they were a sentimental reminder of the rich traditions in art Mexico has.
The exhibit will continue at the museum until January 2.
*Pollack is a freelance writer and instructor in English as a second language.
To read more about Becky Guttin in Spanish, click here.