Claudio Dicochea
Mexican,
Selected exhibitions
2017
Tell Me Why, Tell Me Why, Tell Me Why (Why Can't We Live Together?),
Lisa Sette Gallery
2016
Forbidden Futures: Claudio Dicochea,
Lisa Sette Gallery
2015
30th Anniversary Exhibition,
Lisa Sette Gallery

Claudio Dichochea is best known for his contemporary take on “casta” (caste) paintings, a genre popularized in 18th-century colonial Mexico that was intended to record the new phenomenon of racial mixing in the New World. These portraits captured families arranged in sets from lightest-skinned (Spaniards) to darkest-skinned (African slaves and conquered Native Americans) reflecting the social hierarchy imposed by Spain on colonial society. In the same vein, Dichochea’s work explores, in his words, “how genealogy, sexual desire and poverty affect our own structuring of identity.” He bases each painting on an original casta, but replaces the original personages with archetypes from popular media, comics, and world history. He also inverts the Spanish convention of depicting a white man with a dark-skinned woman, raising questions about how the child of two stereotyped parents is to be …

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