Luis Sahagun’s paintings, sculptures and objects are icons of an invented personal mythology. Utilizing materials and processes that reference his own experiences as a laborer and construction worker, he develops images and forms that combine personal histories and fantastical elements, with the aim of giving a voice to stories of under-represented communities. Brotherhood : Leyendas de un Bracero presents new work created during Sahagun’s year as artist-in-residence in Roswell, New Mexico.
Characters and landscapes featured in the current work, such as those in the sculptures Baby, Don and Hunch, are informed by research into Native American and Japanese mythologies, as well as Sahagun’s own stories and poems. Composed of cement, wax, and gold and silver gilding, the works demonstrate Sahagun’s sustained interest in combining construction materials with fine art processes. The artist’s recent return to figurative painting can be seen in large-scale works including The Words of Silent Ancestors and Angels Came to Hear Him Sing.
In Sahagun's own words, “My mythology has developed by taking the memories of childhood friends, that were murdered or imprisoned, and abstracting their identities to create morally strong anthropomorphic characters that occupy the alternate reality I’ve constructed. In short, I am rewriting my vision of Chicago through symbol and metaphor. These are the tools that allow me to connect with my family, the divine, and to death.”