MANUEL PARDO: Stardust
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Cuban-born New York artist Manuel Pardo will exhibit both new and recent artwork at Cal State Fullerton's Begovich Gallery in an exhibition titled Manuel Pardo: Stardust. The title of the show comes from the artist's most recent drawings—flat, colorful and highly-stylized—made from Japanese archival Gelly Roll pens on handmade Spanish paper and titled "The Stardust Series." This is the first time this body of drawings will be shown on the West Coast. Also included are high-fashion dresses, stiletto heels and large dangly earrings—all designed by Pardo and custom-made especially for this exhibition.
In "The Stardust Series," Pardo (who was sent to the United States at age eight as part of "Operation Pedro Pan," the largest exodus of children in the history of the Western Hemisphere) explores memories of his childhood as a tribute to his mother Gladys. According to Pardo, "In a heroic act of self-sacrifice [my mother] forgot that she was a woman in her late thirties and became a factory worker who worked sixteen hours a day to make ends meet….I wanted to say thank you to Gladys and this is what I came up with, a body of work where I give her everything she did not have in real life: elaborate hairdos, fancy designer dresses and lavish surroundings all placed in the time period where she would have enjoyed them." The drawings will be shown in a way that allows viewers to see stories from the artist's childhood documented on the backs of the artworks.
Pardo has had numerous solo exhibitions and his work has been exhibited widely in the United States, Europe and Mexico.
Manuel Pardo: un universo soñado en technicolor (a universe dreamed in Technicolor) is the title of a two-hundred-and-thirty-page full-color book published on the occasion of this exhibition. Included are essays by former Artforum editor and current MOMA publications coordinator David Frankel and Cal State Fullerton Begovich Gallery Director Mike McGee. Susanna Leval, former director of El Museo del Barrio, wrote the foreword for the book. This publication is the first survey of the artist's thirty-year career and will be available in June 2011.