Colorful birds and blooming flowers will help the LGBT community celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
The work of South Florida artist Rolando Chang Barrero will be on display at Neiman Marcus in Boca Raton starting Sept. 11.
Paintings and wood carvings of his iconic “Pajaro” birds and, hopefully, his “Trans-Daisies'' are part of The Art of Fashion and Hispanic Heritage Month. “The inspiration always comes from seeking out a way to create a space where we can learn for each other,” Barrero said. “In the Pajaro series it was simply a way to pay homage to friends that have passed away due to AIDS. They were epitaphs. The Trans-Daisies are very similar. I want to acknowledge that all the murders of our trans-friends are not simply statistics of hate crimes, but human beings that walk alongside us. They too are someone's child, someone's loved one.”
His art, and this exhibit in particular, is about recognizing and representing his culture. “I, like many others, are part of a broader community. A vibrant, culturally rich, and intersectional community. It is important because assimilation to the customs of the USA includes the LGBTQIA+ community. At least that is true for me and other people of color. We navigate two worlds and at some point they inevitably cross. I want that point to be a celebration!”
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15-Oct. 15. The exhibit opens Saturday, Sept. 11 with a champagne open house at the Neiman Marcus at 5860 Glades Road in Boca Raton from 1-4 p.m.
Barrero says feelings about his work vary. “Reactions vary depending on the person. People have too many ideas and versions of what an LGBTQ person is, even within our community. What is true for most, they all ask for the story. The story, at least my version of the history I lived and continue to do so, is riddled with melancholy to some degree but has a very happy ending. We live, we marry, we celebrate, and we get to enjoy life without fear.”
Barrero also owns The Box Gallery in West Palm Beach, where he exhibits his work and the work of other local, national, and international artists.