"Revoloteo" explores book bans, monarch migration at St. Ed's
Las Vegas-based artist Justin Favela has spent the last two weeks in the fine arts building at St. Edward's University, working with students to papier-mâché thin layers of tissue paper and string them from the ceiling.
Catch up quick: Favela's work examines the intersection of pop culture and the Latinx experience by transforming ordinary spaces into vibrant rooms filled with color and texture, often using the materials of piñatas.
- He'll unveil "Revoloteo" — a display of fiery orange twisting and turning tissue that colors the room — at the university's fine arts gallery today.
- His piece will be open for public viewing until Oct. 6.
Details: The immersive installation was inspired by the migration of the endangered monarch butterfly, according to Favela. Each section of the massive sheets of papier-mâché tissue are enlarged patterns in the butterfly's wings.
- Favela began thinking of the piece when he walked into the university's empty library as it underwent changes. "A library with no books?" Favela told Axios. "It just really shook me."
- "I said this is what this exhibition is going to be about — this feeling and also this idea of digitizing everything and how we lose a lot of our history in that way," Favela said, adding that the empty shelves also brought up imagery of book burnings and recent book bans.
- And Favela wants viewers to feel like they're walking through a fragile space, part of the balance between "the nature of the existence of the monarch but also our books. They're disappearing."
What's next: The university will host a reception from 6-8pm today, which is open to the public.
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