Labor Days

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is thrilled to present Labor Days a solo exhibition of mixed media works by Michael Pribich that reference Cocineros  (food workers) and laborers of all kinds.  The show examines the triumphs of immigrant working class labor, showing them in a position of strength instead of deficiency.  The industrial kitchen items utilized in Labor Days include stainless steel shelves, cutting boards, brooms and mops.  These are combined with diverse materials such as human hair, amulets, silver chain and medicine balls. These art works look at the workers’ motivating force and inspiration to continue working. They reveal a humanity that synthesizes and expands the definitions of economic, social and political systems.

As Pribich explains, “My practice is informed by the social justice issues of my surroundings in New York City, including the living and working conditions of the Essex Market staff.  I use process-oriented methods that symbolically or conceptually link materials and ideas.  The labor history of my own family grounds my work. My maternal grandfather immigrated from Mexico traveling back and forth across the border working as a farm laborer and cannery worker before settling in California with his family.  My paternal grandfather emigrated from Serbia and became a carpenter. These art works look at the workers motivating force and inspiration to continue.  The ideas include the eternal ongoing presence of the worker to sustain and promote living.”

Image: Michael Pribich, Certificate, 2012, US dollars bills, wooden frames and 22k gold leaf

Michael Pribich was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in New York City since 1990. He received an MFA degree from Hunter College, New York and an BFA degree from California State University, Sacramento. His art work is informed by social justice issues. He has completed projects with the Public Works departments in Sacramento and Woodland California. Michael has participated in art exhibitions in North America, Central America, Europe and Asia. Projects and exhibitions in 2012 – 2014 include: “A Feather in Each Hand” solo exhibition at Taller Boricua Gallery, in New York, NY. “My Labour Your Culture” solo exhibition At House Gallery 1816, in Philadelphia, PA. Travel and research in Uzbekistan, Central Asia, “A Mexican In Every Kitchen” solo exhibition at Casa Mezcal, New York, NY. Projects and exhibitions in 2011-2012 include: “Dollar Daze” at Mestizo Gallery in Salt Lake City, UT, “Eye 4 Eye” at Tulsa Living Arts, Tulsa, OK and “Sugar – land” a solo exhibition at Project Row Houses in Houston, TX. In addition to his art career he has worked as an art handler, artist in residence in the prisons, waiter, logger, forest firefighter and salmon cannery worker. He has received grants from the Pollock Krasner Foundation and the Fulbright Foundation.

Esperanza Cortés is a Colombian born New York based multidisciplinary artist who creates installations which incorporate sculptures, drawings, prints, paintings and video. Cortés has been exhibited extensively in the United States in solo and group exhibitions in venues including The Neuberger Museum of Art, The Bronx Museum of Art, Queens Museum of Art, El Museo Del Barrio, Socrates Sculpture Park, and Taller Boricua Gallery in New York. Internationally she has exhibited in Latin America, The Caribbean Europe and Asia. Cortés has received international and national fellowships and grants and recognition for her work from institutions such as the Joan Mitchell Foundation 2014 Painters & Sculptors Grant, The Puffin Foundation, New York State Biennial, Robert Rauchenberg Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She was awarded residencies at MoMA PS 1, Socrates Sculpture Park, Brooklyn’s Children’s Museum and The Fountainhead Residency, Miami, FL. Esperanza has also received international residencies at Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic, Bielska BWA Gallery, Bielsko – Biala, Poland and Medellín, Colombia. Esperanza’s work is in private and public collections with a recent acquisition of three sculptures by the Art in Embassies Program for the New American Embassy in Monterey, Mexico.

Cuchifritos is FREE to the public and handicap accessible. Located inside Essex Street Market at the south end nearest Delancey.

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is a program of Artists Alliance Inc., a 501c3 not for profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City within the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. Cuchifritos is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This program is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the following for their generous support: Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York City Economic Development Corporation and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers, without whom this program would not be possible.