Gerald Lovato (b. 1978, Albuquerque, New Mexico)
I am a social practice artist interested in researching behavioral health in my interdisciplinary practice. My goal is to find new ways to use artistic intervention and the theory of artivism as a continuation of what first began in the Chicana Feminist Movement as a social praxis. My approach to this work is an opportunity and invitation for catharsis, both for me and the viewer.
Gerald Lovato (b. 1978) Fight for Change, 2022 Live Performance, sculpture I was asked throughout my fight career, who was your toughest opponent? The answer was always, myself. This performance is to visually represent the catharsis I experience through martial arts and to represent my transition to visual arts. In the end, the aftermath of the performance became a sculpture exhibited through the entirety of the exhibition. Below, you can listen to the sound piece that was playing during the performance and after in the main part of the gallery.
Gerald Lovato (b. 1978) Losses Series, 2021- 2022 oil on canvas, 48” x 36 “ I made these portraits of loved ones I have lost recently to honor them. The process of painting allowed me to process my emotions as I worked with the materials to have healing inner-conversations with the subjects as I struck the canvas with the paintbrush experiencing catharsis. Making these helped me to gain closure.
Wins Series #1, 2021- 2022 oil on canvas, 60” x 48“, 60” x 36“, 70” x 48“ I made these paintings about what I consider wins. While I was making the loss series, I collapsed in grief and decided to focus on gratitude. What came out was a life impact moment near death experience/self portrait, my daughter Esperanza, and my biological father and Gonzales family, which I only have recently met in 2021.
Gerald Lovato (b. 1978) Community Portrait, 2022 mixed media installation, 8” x 10” (x36), digital photographic prints, painted sculpture Over the past two years, I have been taking photos of friends, family and strangers in the hopes of one day bringing them together as a community through my art. This installation aims to unite by immersing the viewers into the community. Parts as a whole- we are all one.
Gerald Lovato (b. 1978) Wins Series #2, 2021- 2022 ink jet print on silk, 48” x 36” (x7) Photography allows me to capture the essence of someone in a more intimate way than painting. This series was a continuation of a family portrait project I did using my immediate family shortly after my brother’s death. With these I hope to balance the losses with a touch of softness and light to the overall exhibition. My family are my wins.
Gerald Lovato (b. 1978) Guns Down, 2021 digital photographic print, 8” x 10” (x6) When my nephew Gabriel was killed in 2021, I was invited to speak at an community rally protesting violence in our community. These photos document my experience. I was disappointed in the attendance. Most of the people who were there were family members of the victims. Let’s unite as a community and continue this conversation!
Gerald Lovato (b. 1978) Cycles of Addiction, 2020 oil on canvas, 24” x 36”, 30” x 48”, 24” x 30, 20” x 10, 20” x 20”, 20” x 10” I wasn’t going to include these paintings in the Burque Unite exhibition however, with the rise of the fentanyl epidemic in this country, I thought these were necessary to be a part of the conversation. People sometimes are born into a cycle of addiction and we need to educate and talk about ways to break these cycles, which are the most likely to be affected by fentanyl deaths.
Gerald Lovato (b. 1978) New Mexico True, 2021 sound installation ***TRIGGER WARNING*** My goal with this piece was to offer a glimpse of what I have been going through over my academic experience at UNM. It is hard to put into words, but it is like, I want relief and it never comes. I want the listener to feel that. You can listen to this sound piece below.
Each One, Teach One Gerald Lovato (b. 1978), Each One, Teach One, mixed media sculpture, Albuquerque, NM, 2021 Each one, teach one was an African proverb that originated in the United States when African slaves were denied education. The concept of sharing knowledge and lifting each other up is what inspired this piece and what I aspire to do with all of my work. In my experience living in New Mexico, I have found it a harsh competitive cut-throat environment as an entrepreneur, professional fighter, and artist. Each One, Teach One is speaking on the New Mexico community working together to uplift each other.
Change Gerald Lovato (b. 1978), Change, Sculpture Installation, Albuquerque, NM, 2021 When I fought professionally in mixed martial arts, I would walk out to the cage before battle wearing a metal gladiator mask like the underground hip hop artist, MF DOOM. The mask was a metaphor for change and transformation. The mask actually didn’t belong to me. It belonged to my best friend/teammate Mikey, who committed suicide in 2006. When he died I started wearing the mask in his honor. The Aztec god of war was sometimes depicted as a hummingbird. Before going to battle, warriors would wear hummingbird talismans like we wore the mask. It was believed that if a warrior died in the war, their spirit would come back as a hummingbird. 33 hummingbirds. In numerology, the number 33 signifies growth, the power to make things happen in your life, and change. I myself have battled with thoughts of suicide. My goal for this work is to take off the mask, and tell my story, tell Mikey’s story, to break the stigma by talking about mental illness and suicide.
Dream Series Gerald Lovato (b. 1978), Dream Series, digital photographs, oil on canvas, Albuquerque, NM, 2019-2020
Brotherhood Series Gerald Lovato (b. 1978), Brotherhood Series, Digital Color Photographs, Albuquerque, NM, 2020
Familia in Grief Gerald Lovato (b. 1978), Familia in Grief, digital black and white photographs, Albuquerque, NM, 2020
Veritas Triumph Together # 1 Gerald Lovato (b. 1978), Veritas Triumph Together # 1 and Series 2, digital photographs, oil on canvas, Cambridge, MA, 2019
Don’t Shoot (part 1) Gerald Lovato (b. 1978), Don’t Shoot (part 1), Wax Sculpture, Albuquerque, NM, 2017 https://newmexiconewsport.com/dont-shoot-art-provokes-student-reactions/
FIT NHB Documentary Series
FIT NHB Documentary Series Gerald Lovato (b. 1978), FIT NHB Documentary Series, digital black and white photographs, Albuquerque, NM, 2017
Gerald Lovato (b. 1978), Bridge, oils on redwood, Chicano Park Museum permanent public collection, San Diego, CA, 2016