Born in Argentina and based in London, artist Amalia Pica explores metaphor, communication, and civic participation through drawings, sculptures, large-scale photographic prints, slide projections, live performances, and installations. The MCA exhibition Amalia Pica is the artist’s first major solo museum show in the United States and includes approximately fifteen of her most significant works from the last seven years, in addition to new commissions. Using simple materials such as photocopies, lightbulbs, drinking glasses, beer bottles, bunting, cardboard, and other found materials, Pica creates work that is formally beautiful and conceptually rigorous while addressing fundamental issues of communication—such as the acts of delivering and receiving messages (verbal or nonverbal) and the various forms these exchanges may take. She is particularly interested in the role of the artist in conveying messages to audiences and the translation of thought to action, idea to object. Her work is optimistic in its reflection of moments of shared experience, often incorporating signifiers of celebration and communal gatherings such as fiesta lights, flags and banners, confetti, and rainbows.

Having grown up in Argentina, Pica is attracted to the limits and failures of language and concerned with what it means to have a platform to speak out from. Her work raises questions about individual versus collective speech in the context of extreme political situations, such as those in 1970s Argentina or present-day Afghanistan, and demonstrates how open communication is a right in some regions of the world and a privilege in others.

In addition to new work, the exhibition will include Strangers, an in-gallery performance in which two people who have never met before hold a bunting between them for a specific duration.

This exhibition is co-organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and MIT List Visual Arts Center. It is co-curated by Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Pamela Alper Associate Curator at MCA Chicago, and João Ribas, Curator at MIT List Visual Arts Center.




“Myrna Báez, one of the most important Puerto Rican painters/printmakers of the last forty years, was born in August 18, 1931, in Santurce Puerto Rico. Marta Traba, an Argentinean art critic, in her book Polemic Proposal of the Art in Puerto Rico, describes Báez as ‘the most qualified person that I know in the visual arts in Puerto Rico.’ Her work is of utmost importance to track contemporary art evolution in the island.”



“Pensando en Proust” por Myrna Báez


“‘Lo que resuelve este cuadro es esta área en sombra detrás de las flores’, me susurra Myrna Báez mientras traza un círculo con su dedo sobre la traslúcida huella de la luz que se posa entre su autorretrato y el espejo en Pensando en Proust (2004). Una Myrna joven observa un pequeño jarrón repleto de flores, encendido con la luz que entra a chorros por la ventana lateral en una escena francamente vermeeriana. La luz rebota, a su vez, en las flores, cuyo cromatismo la contamina y la dirige a la pared. Dentro del triángulo que se forma entre la ventana, el florero y su sombra, se encuentra la futura artista puertorriqueña con la mano en la barbilla, pose de la melancolía inspirada que los psicólogos prefreudianos atribuían a los artistas y a los genios”.



This June OLAS had to say goodbye to one of its publicity chairs. However, this publicity chair was also recently launched into the “real world” as the amazing visual artist that we all met and shared with. We’re super proud of her work so this month’s is solely for our querida Manuela. We’ll miss you like crazy and we’re sure you’ll humanize this world with your art. Image

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Devendra Banhart

Banhart“For a guy who gets tagged with a lot of limiting descriptors — “freak folk,” “hippie” and so forth — Devendra Banhart doesn’t like to let his music sit in any spot for long. His catalog, which now includes seven official albums, has taken him through warmly intimate ballads, raw and unselfconsciously strange home recordings, songs in several languages (Banhart spent much of his childhood in Venezuela), a lot of smoothly strummy folk-pop and the occasional low-key anthem about free-spiritedness.”

Devendra Obi Banhart (born May 30, 1981) is a Venezuelan American singer-songwriter and visual artist. Banhart was born in HoustonTexas and was raised by his mother in Venezuela, until he moved to California as a teenager. He began to study at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1998, but dropped out to perform music in Europe, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Banhart released his debut album in 2002, continuing to record his material on the Young God and XL labels, as well as other work on compilations and collaborations.

Devendra is playing in Chicago May 31st! Go check out his awesome music.


¡Habla con OLAS!



We’ve got food and Spanish for you, come hang out! 

If you’re a Spanish language learner and want to practice speaking in an informal setting, this is the space for you to do it. The Organization of Latin American Students is hosting a study break where you’ll get play our version of the board game Taboo, in Spanish. We’ll have tables for various learning levels, fluent speakers facilitating each game. Also, there will be food!

Spinach and Cheese Empanadas
Beef Empanadas
Tres Leches Cake
Mango Juice
Orange Juice

It’ll be a laid back time for you to relax, play, compete, eat and practice. Come enjoy!

Thursday May 2, 8:30-9:30 @ Hutch.


Joaquín Torres García (28 July 1874 – 8 August 1949), was a Uruguayan plastic artist and art theorist, also known as the founder of Constructive Universalism. In 1978, most of his works were destroyed in a fire that broke out in the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, while a large exhibition of the artist’s works was being held.




“This is a famous illustration of South America by the Uruguayan modernist Joaquín Torres-García, often called the Upside-down Map (1943). This may have been one of the first of these kinds of maps.

This illustration became a centerpiece in the history of Latin American efforts at reclaiming themselves in a world vision.  Torres-García placed the South Pole at the top of the earth, thereby suggesting a visual affirmation of the importance of the continent, and in an effort to present a pure revision of the world.  He was also interested in presenting to the world a modern “school of the south,” a place of experimentation that could rival what was happening in Paris or New York.”



Artist of the Month: Carlos Luna, Cuban Visual Artist

Artist of the Month: Carlos Luna, Cuban Visual Artist

“What is most impressive about contemporary Cuban-American artist Carlos Luna is the skillful convergence of his erudite aesthetic and the authentic expressiveness of the popular in his visual art. Storyteller and social chronicler, fables and mysticisms, eroticism and prejudices, religiosity and anthropology, these are the themes that are organized and deconstructed, interwoven, and reorganized in the iconographic discourse created by Luna. Endowed with a unique style, the work of Carlos Luna is definitively captivating.”


“JR: ¿Cómo surge el Carlos Luna pintor?

CL: Voy a confesarte algo que hasta ahora no había hecho público. Un hecho que solo conocían unas pocas personas y, sin embargo, puede que ayude a entender el rumbo de mi arte. Mi padre padeció un tipo de esquizofrenia y recuerdo que en mi infancia durante un periodo de crisis de su enfermedad le dio por  dibujar sobre las paredes de su habitación, sobre todo alrededor de la cama. Al parecer necesitaba hacerlo para aliviar sus angustias. Tenía yo entonces unos cinco o seis años. Nunca lo pude observar en plena acción de dibujar, pero sí contemplé el resultado de sus figuraciones cuando en un descuido de mi madre me podía deslizar en el lugar. Eran paredes de ladrillos de arcilla repellados con cemento de unos dos metros y medio de alto por tres de ancho que mi viejo llenaba de imágenes hechas a lápiz y creyón. Ese fue mi primer encuentro con el acto de expresarse gráficamente. Figuras nacidas de la necesidad urgente de sacarse cosas de adentro. Ahora, mi primer contacto con arte culto fue en la tabaquería de mi abuelo, en la que abuela tenía una colección de imágenes de Cristo muy curiosas, de las que recuerdo el Cristo de Matthias Grünewald, el de Andrea Mantegna y el de Velázquez. Tenía también, imágenes de los Beatos del período románico, en particular del Beato de Liébana. Esas fueron mis primeras experiencias con el arte y de dónde surgen y se fijan las primeras inquietudes.”



Artist of The Month: Neuzz, Mexican street artist

Artist of The Month: Neuzz, Mexican street artist

“Miguel Mejía, mejor conocido en la escena del street art como Neuzz, es un diseñador, pintor e ilustrador mexicano considerado uno de los mayores exponentes del arte urbano latinoamericano. Las raíces mexicanas de Mejía están siempre presentes en su trabajo, que ha sido exhibido, publicado y reseñado internacionalmente”.


NEUZZ is an artist based out of Mexico City, Mexico by way of Oaxaca, Mexico.  Growing up as an artist he went to school for Graphic design and since that point has grown his career one show and event at a time.  His style is very unique and is heavily influenced by Mexican style folk art.  NEUZZ is one of the leading artists in the Mexican Mural/Street Art movement.”