Meet the MFAs: Jim de Vega
As Blaffer prepares to open the University of Houston School of Art 38th Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition on April 8 (reception 7-9 p.m.; member/VIP preview 6 p.m.), we’re highlighting artworks by each of the dozen graduating and exhibiting artists along with his or her catalog statement. Next up is Jim de Vega:
My work explores ideas of place and is grounded on the aesthetic of experiencing places and the cultural qualities that intertwine within them. I look at the social histories and cultural identities embedded in city landscapes, and the conflicts surrounding issues of sprawl and urbanization. My principle motivation is to examine how our personal narratives and sense of identities are affected and shaped by these landscapes, and how culture is formed by fabricated definitions of “place.”
Through mapping, photography, and data collection, I document specific areas in Houston and recontextualize typography, maps, way-finding signs, and familiar symbols of home/community to construct narratives based on personal and collected stories of these places. By shifting and juxtaposing elements, I reorder information to present a more nuanced and humane sense of the places that we call home.