One of Jonathan LeVine Projects' newest shows is titled The Killing of a Ghost, an exhibition of new work by Mexican American artist Carlos Ramirez. Ramirez's paintings and sculptures speak of the inequalities within Mexican American communities, disguising the political as popular and championing the common man as underdog. Creating brightly colored compositions of Mexican caricatures set against a backdrop of religious iconography, folklore and corporate logos, his work presents viewers with familiar yet foreign perspectives Influenced by graffiti, Mexican street murals, traditional revolutionary posters, prison art and tattoos.
Ramirez is tremendously resourceful when creating his work and often travels across the border to Mexicali and Oaxaca to scavenge for materials. As a result his mixed-media works are deeply layered with combinations of house paint, stickers, handwritten bilingual text, rusted bottle caps and other discarded materials. Desert creatures such as snakes, spiders and scorpions are also featured, intermingling with Catholic symbolism, aliens, gang members, pop-culture references and commercial imagery. By giving brand logos and religious icons the same attention and placement, Ramirez draws attention to the polarity between traditionalism and urbanism. The Killing of a Ghost exemplifies Ramirez's evolution as a solo artist. His work remains alluring and magical while simultaneously offering satirical commentary on political and social issues, frequently on behalf of the oppressed.