Carlos Rosales Silva

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Artist Statement

My practice begins with an understanding of the colonization and exploitation of the labor and visual culture of brown bodies and uses this position as a source of power and freedom from the false neutrality of the western art historical canon. In opposition to these violations, I position my practice as part of a lineage of Indigenous image makers, formalists, and craftspeople from what is now considered the American Southwest. That I have to visit institutions where the masterful works of the Anasazi, Pueblo, and other Southwestern American Indigenous peoples are collated next to the history of extinct animals is difficult and often feels like sifting through the ashes of post-apocalypse. Through abstraction I am able to explore and build upon the visual ingenuity of painters, muralists, sign painters, builders, party planners, interior designers,and other fiercely brown creatives that are often stolen from but never acknowledged. My work not only celebrates these makers, it celebrates all native southwestern people that have survived to create their own version of reality after near decimation under European colonization.  Through the works that result I am navigating an identity that is often difficult to define; My phenotypically indigenous and beautiful deep brown skin and lush black hair point in one direction while the aspirational assimilationist tendencies of my family point in another.These liminal spaces are where I am paradoxically least and most comfortable and because of them I am unable to claim any stable, easily communicated identity. For me, being brown is a constant search for my place within the Mexican, Indigenous, and American cultures I am both inside and out of.

In addition to my painting and sculpture work, writing and community-building are an important part of my practice. Writing provides an opportunity to connect and process pressing political concerns in a direct and generative way. This includes rigorous critiques of oppressive power structures but also self-critique of my constantly evolving political position as a cis-gendered queer Latinx person. Writings are rigorously researched and shared through publications or social media.  Maintaining an artistic practice in New York is becoming increasingly difficult,especially for artists of color. A cornerstone of my practice in both my native Texas and in NewYork has been community-building, ranging from artist-run spaces to critique groups and curation. Both writing and community are instrumental to me being able to process, connect,and strengthen not only my practice, but the practice of other black and brown artists. 

Commented [MT1]: This seems like somewhat of a restatement of what you’ve said earlier. I like itmaybe it could even replace the second sentence?
Commented [MT2]: Maybe curated or placed?
Commented [MT3]: Love this! I wonder if you might mention the part of your practice that is a critique of Latinx capitalist upward striving and antiBlackness or if that is maybe not central or salient to this statement.


Born in El Paso, Texas Lives and Works in New York, NY

BFA Studio Art, University of Texas at Austin


Artist In Residence Show (To be titled), Artpace, San Antonio, TX (forthcoming solo)
Monarchs, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE (forthcoming)
No More Ideas About My Ideas, Sadie Halie Projects, Minneapolis, MN
Textured Windows, Global Committee, Brooklyn, NY
Summer Party, Hello Project Gallery, Houston, TX.
The Stuff of Legends, Gray Matter Gallery, Dallas, TX
Garden Party Arts Presents: Ephemera, Garden Party Arts, Brooklyn, NY
Fade Grid, CoLab Projects, Austin, TX (Solo)
Art Truck: Year Long Educational Installation, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art SaltLake City, UT (Solo)
National Register, AMOA/Arthouse, Austin, TX (Solo)
Unfadeable so please don t try to fade me, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX (Solo)
Yin Yang Twins: Collaboration with Dylan Reece, Domy Books, Austin, TX
Heir Today Gone Tomorrow, Mexican American Cultural Center, Austin, TX
I Am Immortal I Have inside me Blood of Kings, Box 13 Gallery, Houston TX (Solo)
Young Latino Artists 15: Consensus of Taste, MexicArte Museum, Austin, TX
One Swallow Doesn t Make a Summer, 2nd St. District Installations, Austin TX
One on One on One, Art Palace, Austin TX
No National Monument, Mass Gallery, Austin, TX (Solo)
Happy Tree Friends, La Esquina, Kansas City MO
Young Latino Artists 13, MexicArte Museum Austin, TX
Shaman and the Warrior: Chapter 1: Prayermakers and Bonesetters, CoLab Austin, TX
The Big Time, Okay Mountain Gallery Austin, TX
Extravaganza 3, Austin Video Bee for Fusebox, Austin, TXRESIDENCIES 

Artist in Residence, Artpace, San Antonio, TX (forthcoming)
Artist in Residence, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn NYAS CURATOR

Sonia Davis (to be titled), Sadie Halie Projects, Minneapolis, MN (forthcoming)

Staycation, Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Monument to a Decommissioned Monument, Georgeʼs Island for the Boston ParksIsland Initiative, Boston, MA
Long Plays: Okay Mountain Collective, Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Okay Mountain at Cress Gallery, Cress Gallery, University of Tennessee Chattanooga 4Wheeler Rollover, Semipermanent sculpture at DeCordova Sculpture Park, Lincoln MA
New Image Sculpture: Okay Mountain Collective, McNay Museum San Antonio TX NewWorks: Okay Mountain Collective, Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston TX
Benefit Plate: Okay Mountain Collective, Freight + Volume Gallery, New York NY
Big Strange Mystery: Okay Mountain Collective, Texas State University, San Marcos TX
Water Water Everywhere So Let s All Have A Drink: Okay Mountain Collective, Austin Museum of Art, Austin TX
Corner Store:Okay Mountain Collective, Pulse Fair, Miami Florida Food Fight,Permanent Mural at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN


Okay Mountain Collective: Member/Partner

2010 Austin Visual Arts Awards: Artist of the Year Early Career


Digital Zine for IMAGE FILE PRESS Essay for Wow Huh