BM+C Presents Gabriel Delgado
Burgess Modern + Contemporary is proud to present Political Artist, Gabriel Delgado. Through Burgess Modern + Contemporary’s programming, Gabriel Delgado joins the roster of artists that BM+C currently presents that academically and conceptually explore academic discourse of dimensional truths, human portrayal, icons, and social events.
Delgado immerses himself into areas of global conflict to meet with other artists and activists to gain a better understanding of the issues that he visually investigates. While Mexico in Delgado accompanies a Cultural Attaché of the Mexican government, to meet with the Zapatista Delegation from Chiapas, Mexico during the infamous Zapatista civil society uprising of 2000.
His Middle Eastern interests are born from a months-long expedition to Jordan, Syria, Israel, West Bank, Gaza Strip, and other parts of Palestine, where he meets with a variety of Political Artists, some living in exile and in refugee camps, who educate him about the social unrest and historical implications of the Middle Eastern Affairs. It is here in the Middle East, Gabriel Delgado is identified, detained, and jailed on suspicion of International Terrorism, ultimately cementing his political ideologies, and catapulting his intense scrutiny of the U.S. Government and its handling of international affairs. Delgado is a pioneering participant in the early development of the Anarchist Black-Block Movement. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, he marches and demonstrates in the global protests - including: Washington D.C.; Houston, Texas; and New York City, New York for political direct-action demonstrations against the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. Gabriel Delgado has held two museum Curatorial titles, three Gallery Directorships; and is a published art critic and writer in over 25 + publication.
Gabriel Delgado creates themed artwork that explores aspects of contemporary social and political events, ranging from Police Brutality, Animal Rights, Environmental Rights, Science, Economy, Immigration, Social Reform, and other relevant topics. His PEMDAS driven, and conceptually solvable Order of Operations mathematical equations bring to light the elegance of numerical and text-driven logic via an expressive scientific chalkboard aesthetic. Six new equations that BM+C is representing include “X-Press Pearl”, a narrative discussing an environmental disaster in Sri Lanka and “Whitewashing”, a pop culture storyline concerning the treatment of Beyonce Knowles.
In X-Press Pearl, a minimalist and conceptual drawing by Delgado details the demise of the Singapore-registered container ship carrying a payload of 378 tons of oil, 25 tons of nitric acid, and 171,000 pounds of low-density plastic pellets. Through his own language of solvable mathematics, he describes the fateful day of May 20, 2021, when the X-Press Pearl caught fire and eventually sank off the coast of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The numerical equation walks the viewer through the catastrophic consequences. Defined, bold and black numbers in the drawing illustrate the disastrous reality of the ongoing environmental catastrophe- 176 turtles, 20 dolphins, 4 whales, and thousands of fish dead. The incident, as described by the media, government sources and the artist, was deemed the worst marine ecological disaster in Sri Lankan history.
Whitewashing introduces an element of pop culture into an otherwise political landscape. Delgado details the controversial narrative of L’Oréal and Elle Australia Magazine’s decision to whitewash Beyonce Knowles’s by digitally lightening her skin for the cover, editorial content, and ads within the publication. The arithmetical calculation illustrates the Editor’s claim that the magazine’s cover does not feature Asians, plus-sized models, pregnant people, models with freckles, red heads, and dark-skinned minorities for fear of reduced sales. Delgado brings to light institutional whitewashing as a form of racism and betrayal of trust against women who see Beyonce as a positive role model.
In February 2021, Limetree Bay Oil Refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands reopened after being closed since 2018 over corroded pipes and bankruptcy issues. When the refinery opened, multiple malfunctions and disasters followed. With an explosion that sent multiple people to the hospital, also expelled an unaccountable amount of oil spray into the atmosphere. This oil mixed with the water droplets in the air and caused an unnatural phenomenon called oil rain. This oil rain came down on houses, cars, into water wells, animal feed supplies, water sources and caused countless contaminations across an impoverished area. Limetree investment environmental authorities went door to door offering $2,000.00 USD as a waiver for the community members to not sue. Those who did not take the money filed a class action lawsuit over the environmental disaster and temporarily shut down the refinery. This meant hundreds of lost jobs in this minority neighborhood causing a ripple in the already unstable financial structure of this community. Update: As of June 2021, the Limetree Bay facility has indefinitely shut down its St. Croix refinery.
In June 2021, the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Maine were able to buy back Kuwesuwi Monihq, or Pine Island in a private sale. This island was stolen from the Passamaquoddy Tribe in 1820 when Maine officially changed the islands name and (il)legally voided the 1794 treaty that granted this land to the tribe. As of 2021, the Passamaquoddy had not set foot on the island, which was held in private hands, for over 160 years. The island was considered sacred lands and contained many Native American burial grounds and ceremonial sites. This acquisition of the Kuwesuwi Monihq island is part of a greater conversation of Native American appropriations and an international “buy-back” movement by the surviving generations of Native American Tribes across the world.
Dogecoin (DOGE) is a peer-to-peer, open-source cryptocurrency started by Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus. It is considered an altcoin and an almost sarcastic meme coin. Launched in Dec. 2013, Dogecoin has the image of a Shiba Inu dog as its logo. While it was created seemingly as a joke, Dogecoin's blockchain still has merit. Its underlying technology is derived from Litecoin. Notable features of Dogecoin, which uses a scrypt algorithm, are its low price and unlimited supply. Elon Musk has greatly impacted the stability of the Dogecoin price by remarking about its existence in tweets or on live television, Musk’s quote of Dogecoin “Going to the Moon” is a reference to the unlimited rise in value of the cryptocurrency. Although Dogecoin has witnessed several high-profile hacks, the market is still strong for this meme-driven currency, at one point rising over 7,000% in value.
The killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo was riddled in controversy. On March 29, 2021, Adam Toledo was shot and killed by the Chicago Police Department. There were multiple versions of how the shooting and killing took place from “armed confrontation” to passive surrender. On April 15, 2021, the Chicago Police department released the body cam video of officer, Eric Stillman, the person responsible for the shooting. The video showed Adam’s hands up, after dropping his gun and turning toward the officer. The debate surrounding this shooting stems from proper training vs, instinctual repercussions from situational awareness. This case sparked protests in Chicago as well as around the world, in a post George Floyd narrative. It also highlighted the continual story of disproportionate police violence against Latinos and children of color.
Burgess Modern + Contemporary’s presentation of Gabriel Delgado captures the full attention of the viewer, while creating opportunities to facilitate discussions on a multitude of subjects from academia to politics.