Mediating Dissent

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Editorial Review

Gallery opening of the week: ‘Mediating Dissent’

At the D.C. Arts Center, the art of political protest, embodied in the human figure.


By Michael O’Sullivan
Friday, February 14, 2014

The human figures in Nelson Gutierrez’s strangely compelling ink--and--pencil drawings sometimes look like dancers, athletes or even fashion models striking a dynamic pose in the latest streetwear. Isolated from almost all context and rendered in stark black and white, the contorted subjects give few clues to their message. But their obscured faces ---- often hidden behind gas masks ---- and the occasional stick or projectile they carry suggest that they’re trying to make a point beyond art, athleticism or advertising.

Culled from images of global protest in such places as Egypt, Libya, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, Greece and the Ukraine, the drawings in Gutierrez’s solo exhibition “Mediating Dissent” explore themes of individual and collective action. The show opens Friday from 7 to 9 p.m at the D.C. Arts Center.