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San Antonio artist Jose Villalobos debuts new performance as part of the Texas Biennial 

click to enlarge JOSE VILLALOBOS
  • Jose Villalobos
It can be challenging to keep up with Jose Villalobos, a fast-rising San Antonio artist whose multimedia work often protests the “toxicity of machismo” from a queer Latinx perspective.

Since earning a prestigious Painters & Sculptors Grant from the New York-based Joan Mitchell Foundation in 2018, the El Paso native has exhibited across the Lone Star State, from the McNay Art Museum and Artpace to Texas A&M International University in Laredo and the Dallas Latino Cultural Center.



He’s also one of seven artists featured in “Mutable Land” — a Tex-centric group show on Governors Island in New York. Upon returning from that show’s September 25 opening, he quickly set off for Lubbock to install a solo show at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Villalobos is also among the handful of artists representing San Antonio in the 2021 Texas Biennial — a socially minded survey spread across five institutions including the San Antonio Museum of Art.

While Villalobos’ layered, mixed-media installation Los Pies Te Cargaron (The Feet That Carried You) will remain on view at SAMA through December 5, his performance United States Customs of Oppression is a one-time-only affair.

Set to take shape in SAMA’s West Courtyard on October 12, the standalone piece expands on something Villalobos wrote and shared with us: “The truth is that / We fight and we fight / But the white man is always right / But I refuse to give up this light / That I carry inside / I will shift and I’ll grow / Like the desert in sight / My brown skin will interrupt your land like the sharp rusted blades of the border wall / I will stand tall even when I fall.”

Free, 6-6:30p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, San Antonio Museum of Art (West Courtyard), 200 W. Jones Ave., (210) 978-8100, samuseum.org.

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