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Amber Robles-Gordon: The Architect, The Oracle

ABOUT THE MALE AND FEMALE

The title of this exhibition, The Architect and The Oracle, were extracted from the featured above images, titled The Male, The Architect, The Protector; The Universe and The Female, The Oracle, The Nurturer; The One, The Source Within. Therefore, they are also referred to as The Male and Female. Male and Female are divided into four parts; each has an outer and inner circle. The external circular forms represent the potentiality of masculine and feminine energy within the black male and female. Simultaneously, the inner circles represent our connection and reliance on ourselves, each other, and the universe. The remaining artworks in this exhibition are Paint Chips I and Paint Chips II and Interdimensional Realms I and Interdimensional Realms II. Each series, including The Male and Female, is presented in diptychs (in two related parts), at about 72 x 72 in size. In addition, each series features paper mosaics, assemblage, and collages.

The Paint Chips collages feature a symbol of American culture and luxury, namely the free paint samples found in hardware, paint, and home improvement stores. A narrative representing choices, liberties, rights, and a level of treatment not afforded to everyone. These works represent a microscopic view of the macrocosm issue of rampant racism, classism, and disenfranchisement and its impact and trauma on African Americans and other people of color.

The Interdimensional Realms series features contemplations regarding negotiating the planes of existence and plains of consciousness and the triad of the triple consciousness experienced by people of color. In my experience, I am aware of being a person of African and Puerto Rican descent and being a black woman within the patriarchal American society, navigating life through the skin of black and brownness. In these artworks, I intentionally centralize figuration of black and brown bodies within multiple fantastical layers or environments to examine the notion of planes of existence and futuristic realms. Throughout my artwork, I am drawn to contemplate conversations regarding the innate duality of human existence. Consider the meaning of duality, “the condition of being dual, an instance of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something; a dualism.”

Yet, at every turn, human discourse about reality, our environment, concerns, or anything warranting contemplation are often relegated to extremes or polar opposites: Black and White, Good or Evil, Rich or Poor, and Male and Female. We tend to put ourselves, others, and issues we seek to understand under labels, in boxes, silos, and othered that may, in fact, confuse or inhibit honest discussion.
My artwork is intended to aesthetically enthrall yet challenge the viewer to ponder their personal patterns –of thought, daily practice, self-knowledge, and treatment of others– and impart awareness and or initiate healing of themselves and others.


ABOUT AMBER ROBLES GORDON

Amber Robles-Gordon, has over fifteen years of exhibiting, art education, and exhibition coordinating experience. She received a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration in 2005 at Trinity University, and subsequently a Master’s in Fine Arts (Painting) in 2011 from Howard University, Washington, DC. At Howard University she received annual awards and accolades for her artwork.

She has exhibited nationally and in Germany, Italy, Malaysia, London, and Spain. Robles-Gordon is proficient in American Sign-Language and has traveled throughout the US, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Northern Africa, and Southeast Asia. Her exhibitions and artwork has been reviewed and/or featured in the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Washington Informer, Examiner, WAMU American University Radio, WPFW 89.3, MSNBC the grio, Hyperallergeric, Ebony.com, Houston Chronicle, Miami Herald, Huffington Post, Bmore Art Magazine, Callaloo Art & Culture in the African Diaspora and Sugarcane Magazine, Support Black Art and other various publications.

Robles-Gordon was also commissioned to create temporary and permanent public art installations for numerous art fairs and agencies such as the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DCCAH, Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (NVFAA), Humanities Council of Washington, D.C., Howard University, James C. Porter Colloquium, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Washington Projects for the Arts, Salisbury University, Martha’s Table, DC Department of General Services and Democracy Fund. Additionally, she has been commissioned and or featured to teach workshops, give commentary, and or present about her artwork by the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, Luther College, WETA Television, Al Jazeera, WPFW 89.3fm, WAMU | American University Radio, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, Howard University James A. Porter Colloquium, David C. Driskell Center, the Phillips Collection, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, Mc Daniel College, Salisbury University, Harvey B. Gantt Center, Phillips Collection, American University, and National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Throughout her career, she serves as an advocate for the Washington, DC area arts community. From November 2004 through July 2012, Robles-Gordon has been an active member of the Black Artists DC, (BADC) serving as exhibitions coordinator, Vice President and President. BADC, a 20-year old member organization of individual of Black-Afrikan ancestry, includes artists, arts administrators, educators, dealers, collectors, museum directors, curators, gallery owners, and arts enthusiasts. Robles-Gordon is also the Co-Founder of Delusions of Grandeur Artist Collective.

In 2010, Robles-Gordon was granted apprenticeship to create a public art installation with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, D.C. Creates Public Arts Program. In 2012, Robles-Gordon was selected to present for the Under the Influence competition as part of the 30 Americans Exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

In 2016, Robles-Gordon was selected for a teaching residency by the Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano, Back to the Roots, in Limon, Costa Rica. In 2017, she was awarded an additional teaching residency with Washington Projects for the Arts and DC Public Schools. In 2018, Robles-Gordon spent two weeks in Thailand studying and photographing Thai art and culture. In January 2019, Robles-Gordon completed a two-week Artist/Scholar residency at the American Academy, Rome, AAR, Italy. At the end of this residency, Robes-Gordon was granted the opportunity to exhibit her completed work at AAR.

Further, in July 2019, she completed a two-month artist-in-residence and temporary public art commission, titled Fertile Grounds: Of Minds, Wombs, and of the Earth, at the Nicholson Project, artist residency program. In fall 2019, Robles-Gordon, was commissioned by DC Department of General Services, for a public artwork at the Ida B. Wells Middle School, DC Public Schools.

In July 2020, Robles-Gordon will be featured in the first online solo exhibition, Place of Breath and Birth, at Galleria de Arte, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, (Sacred Heart University), in her birthplace of San Juan, Puerto Rico, (PR).

In October, 2020 the Place of Breath and Birth Series was presented by Tafeta Gallery in 1-54 Contemporary African Art fair in London, England, alongside their new digital initiative 1-54 Online, powered by Christie’s. In fall 2021, solo exhibition, Successions, at American University, Katzen Art Center.

In 2021, the PBB series was featured by Tafeta during London Art Week and in her solo exhibition, Successions: Traversing US Colonialism, at American University Museum from August 28- December 12, 2021. In 2021, Robles-Gordon’s work y mi bandera vuela mas alto que la tuya, (and my flag flies higher than yours) was selected by Yinka Shonibare to be apart of the Royal Academy of Arts Sumer Exhibition in London, England.

January 8 – February 8, 2022, the Place of Breath and Birth series was featured at the Derek Ellery Gallery in New York. In Spring of 2022, Robles-Gordon will be creating a traveling exhibition in collaboration with Cultural DC and El Cuadrado Gris Galeria in Puerto Rico. The exhibition will be presented in both Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. In May of 2022, Robles-Gordon will have a solo exhibit at Tinney Contemporary in Knoxville, Tennessee, titled soveREIGNty: acts, forms and measures of protest and resistance.

Most recently, Robles-Gordon is a semifinalist for the Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize.

The Male, The Architect, The Protector (Outer Circle) The Universe (inner circle), Assemblage on Canvas, 72 in. x 72 in., 2017

Interdimensional Realms I, Paper Collage on Canvas, 72 x 72 in., 2017

Interdimensional Realms II, Paper Collage on Canvas, 72 x 72 in., 2017