The Oak Cliff Cultural Center is about to get a hit of nostalgia mixed with a dose of cutting-edge artistry as it opens its doors to artist Jose Vargas' latest installation, Retro-Matico Tres, starting December 9. Not your average art show, Vargas' gallery will offer a look back at five decades of artistic evolution with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. that's sure to draw Dallas' most eclectic and artsy crowd, according to the City of Dallas.
The multi-media showcase promises to wholly immerse visitors in an artistic timeline, where Vargas will feature six diverse bodies of work born from various stages of his career. Playing to his roots, the artist unapologetically dives into his Mexican culture and personal mini-visions, ossifying a deep respect for traditions and innovations alike. "Art, like music, can be healing. It is a luxury to create art, just for the fun of it. For the pure satisfaction of self-expression. If we do not create art, then in turn we are not being true to ourselves," Vargas shared, as per the City of Dallas.
Admirers can expect to witness the storytelling prowess of Vargas through pieces like the "Twang" series, which gives life to a skeletal musician character, and the psychologically charged "Green Mask" series, which explores the concept of hidden identities. Rumor has it that sometimes Vargas' creative zeal can't even help but simultaneously work on more than one series. Visitors are in not just for a treat but for a journey through a confluence of materials and creative spells, including his photography prowess, showing off his skills in collage, digital editing, and the use of vintage family imagery.
Vargas is a veteran with his hands in more than just carving sculptures and slathering canvases. Since his humble beginnings in 1992, he has marked his presence in over 170 exhibitions and even started an art exchange program in 2015 with La Galería de la Misión de Senecú in El Paso. He's also been the maestro behind curating acclaimed art exhibitions such as the annual "El Corazón" and "La Virgen de Guadalupe" shows, as per his role as a Dallas cultural beacon.
The Oak Cliff Cultural Center, nestled at 223 W. Jefferson Blvd., operates Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m., making it the perfect escape for an afternoon of browsing cultural treasures. Retro-Matico Tres will be open for admiration through January 12, 2024, but the center will be closed from December 24, 2023, through January 1, 2024, as detailed by the City of Dallas.