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After & Again’s Inaugural Installation by Betsabeé Romero in Los Angeles

By Eliza Jordan

May 1, 2015

The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever in Los Angeles is in good hands until May 4, as After & Again, an art platform dedicated to textile craftsmanship, debuts its inaugural installation collaboration with one of Mexico City’s most renowned contemporary artists, Betsabeé Romero.

In Skull of a Thousand Faces, hand-cut cotton tapestries hug the walls, and large illuminated cantoya balloons float amidst a play of textures, shadows, and light. The materials, coupled with our perspectives of a modern, industrial culture, offer appreciation for the master artisan, folk art, and the many simple things we may tend to overlook.

Romero’s interests within pre-Columbian iconography, colonial imagery, and pop culture propelled her in crafting this site-specific inventive installation in which she calls a “celebration that dignifies the possibility of embroidering everything; art, craftsmanship, installation, design, and migration in all its means.”

Said Diana Atri, Founder of After & Again, This edition marks the inaugural collaboration combining contemporary art while paying tribute to timeless craftsmanship of the past. Romero’s edition with After & Again celebrates Mexican embroidery and metal work. It is a representation of Mexico’s cultural history and a celebration of its folk art in a contemporary context.”

Romero is among a select few craftswomen who still handcraft textiles in Mexico, and through this celebration of traditional Mexican embroidery, she welcomes Master Ernesto Bonilla to assist her in creating all of the three-foot wide repoussé copper wings that don all of 200 garments. Each piece is hand-embroidered using silk thread from Paris and pima cotton, and they all take approximately two months to create. Each piece will benefit the public art non-profit organization, LA><ART.

“For generations, textiles were my family’s business. When I was young I would go to the factories and villages with my father and learn about fabric and the craftsmanship of textiles,” said Atri. “Five years ago, my father passed away. After a process of debilitating grief, I came up with the concept for After & Again—as homage to my father and a celebration of the awakening of our souls that happens when we are forced to move through grief and into acceptance. Romero’s vision for After & Again works wonderfully. Her work is passionate and meaningful.”

After &amp; Againart installationBetsabeé RomeroCaliforniaDiana AtriEliza JordanErnesto BonillaHollywood ForeverLALos AngelesMasonic LodgeMexicoMexico CityWhitewallWhitewaller

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