Saturday, January 27, 2007

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Looking for Hope: The Paintings of Daniel Camacho

Daniel Camacho is a mobile mural painter and all round community artist. Daniel brought his canvass murals to display at all of the 2006 tour of La Carpa del FEO: Fandango in East Oakland. He presents images of the Zapatistas, working class positive images, deep universal art of the land and her peoples. Daniel believes art does not need slogans, art needs its own unversal politics of liberation and freedom to speak for herself. You'll see Daniel Camacho's artwork being carried proudly, they are art and they are banners, which transcend the historical moment because his artwork acts as a mirror and a hammer shaping reality, to paraphrase Bertold Brecht.

In the weeks before the historic May 1, 2006 mobilizations across the U.S., where cities everywhere, Oakland included, experienced the biggest marches in history. Daniel, a few activists and organizers got together one Satruday and painted a banner, many stencils and signs proclaiming rights, ideas, equality, justice, a new citizenship that includes everyone and using art, spontaneous art because most of us there had never painted. The most exciting part of this preparation of banners and signs was that many passerbys, mainly day laborers, came and picked up brushes and painted like professional artists. Women, elders, youth, artists and activists put together in a matter of hours a beautiful banner and signs that were proudly carried a week or so later in San Francisco and Oakland.

You can see Daniel Camacho's public art hanging from light-poles along East 14th Street (aka International Boulevard in East Oakland). Camacho also put his versatility at work in the the "Placita," or the area in front of the Fruitvale BART Station. Mosaics on the ground, bas-relief on the Fruitvale plaza's entrance poles and now an exhibition of his work at the nearby Cesar E. Chavez Branch Library at 3301 East 12th Street (one block west from the Fruitvale BART station's entrance).

"Looking for Hope: The Paintings of Daniel Camacho" will have an opening reception Tuesday, January 30, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Cesar E. Chavez Library. Come meet the artist, be in good company, art, culture, community, words, poetry. Everything will be ready and everyone should come by after work. Feel the paintings, take home the good vibes and images that speak and color for a different, better world, where there is room for all.

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