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Baroque Meets Pop Art at SMC Gallery


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By Lookout Staff

February 26, 2024 -- The eye-popping art created by Santa Monica College (SMC) alum Nehemiah Cisneros during his academic training will be exhibited next month at the school's Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery.

“Ride of The Kali Yuga” by Nehemiah Cisneros

The show -- titled “Never Too Late” -- opens with a free gallery reception on Saturday, March 16, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the SMC Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th Street.

Cisneros, who completes his MFA at UCLA this year, will give an artist talk on March 26, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Art 214 on the main SMC Campus, 1900 Pico Boulevard.

The talk focuses on Cisneros' "artistic process and influences, his education journey, and the important role SMC has played in his life," event organizers said.

Cisneros' paintings merge "the graphic aesthetics of 1990s skateboard graphics with the theatrical scale of Baroque painting from the 1600s," organizers said.

They "bring to life magnified expressions of humanity through grotesquely exaggerated renderings of authority figures and icons" and highlight "the fetishized worldview news media consumers have become accustomed to seeing."

Cisneros, who grew up in Mid City Los Angeles, uses exaggerated cultural stereotypes to explore "the socio/political relationship between authority and people of color."

"His juxtaposition of historical and fictional imagery examines how mainstream culture, criminality, and the judicial system affect and continue to fail marginalized communities," organizers said.

Cisneros earned his BFA in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2021 and was awarded a New Opportunities Fellowship at UCLA School of Arts and Architecture, where he will complete his MFA in 2024.

“Never Too Late” is open to the public through April 22.

More information is available by visiting All events are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

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