People in cultures throughout history have gazed up at the night sky and seen their own imagined, culturally specific images in the glowing points of stars. Baltimore artist René Treviño explores how many features of our culture, even supposed natural phenomena, are framed in terms of European ideas and concepts. In a recent series of paintings, one of which is included in the Walters exhibition Translations and Transitions / Traducciones y Transiciones, Treviño challenges this Eurocentric view with a creative reimagining of the constellations, pointing out how the web of stars can be configured and reconfigured—as can our cultural canon. Treviño talks with Ellen Hoobler, William B. Ziff, Jr. Associate Curator of the Art of the Americas, about his work and recovering Indigenous traditions.
About the Artist
René Treviño was born in Kingsville, TX. He received his BFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 2003 and his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2005. His work has been exhibited at the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT; Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; Goliath Visual Space, Brooklyn, NY; White Box, New York; Delaware Center for Contemporary Art; Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA; Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, Baltimore, MD; and Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA. His work was also included in the 2007 WPA/Corcoran OPTIONS Biennial in Washington, DC, and was awarded a 2009 Baltimore Creative Fund Individual Artist Grant and won the 2009 Trawick Prize. His work has been featured in Art Papers, New American Painters, Baltimore Sun, Baltimore City Paper, Philadelphia Enquirer, Washington Blade, Washington Post, as well as several online publications. Treviño currently lives and works in Baltimore, MD and teaches at MICA and Towson University.