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minerva cuevas - dark matter

Dark Matter features interdisciplinary Mexican artist Minerva Cuevas’ first solo exhibition in San Diego.  Combining three bodies of work, Cuevas dives into the history and future of petroleum’s omnipresence in the world. She has responded for decades to global activities through corporate branding defacement and visual campaigns. Cuevas launches her residency with ICA San Diego by covering the gallery walls with oil, imagining a new environment that has been taken over by the extracted fossil fuel. Ants, armadillos, bats, and turtles must now adapt to the changing world. Accompanying the mural will be new works created for ICA San Diego that involve the dipping of paintings into chapopote, a mix made from tar used for asphalt – a connection to the imagery found in the surrounding mural. These dipped paintings have been a constant in Cuevas’ work since 2007. Alongside the paints are original advertisements promoting the cleanliness and use of oil-based products which highlight the historical role of the industry. Around the gallery’s columns are antique oil canisters holding bouquets of plastic flowers, growing from the oil that formerly inhabited the container.