Rudy Herrera often works on large-scale, colorful artworks that are intended to reach a broad audience – in particular to reach his peers who don’t naturally gravitate to art museums, galleries, and other curated spaces. “Utilizing spray paint and acrylic, Herrera communicates with his first and most important audience, his contemporaries and peers.”
In his Artpace exhibition, Herrera explores his ancestry and, more specifically, the men in his family. Utilizing laminated aluminum, foam, wood, and acrylic, the artist has created a scene that depicts multiple generations of men in his family. One of the displays includes a man pushing a shopping cart with a boy sitting inside it. The man pushing the cart is Rudy in the present, while the boy in the cart represents Rudy’s son and all the men that raised him.
The entire scene is a story about the artist’s family, and although he doesn’t know much about the men that came before him, he sees himself as an accumulation of all of them. This installation is a self-reflective exhibition that explores the erasure of Native history and contemporary contemplations of family. Herrera told Artpace, “I want the boy in the shopping cart to see that he is the best and worst bits of all the Herreras that came before him, and he will lift off to become his own Herrera with the guardianship of his ancestors.”