Exhibition on Display: September 18, - October 10, 2021
Featured artist Mike A. Lopez
DANG GOOD CANDY: studio/gallery (402 Houston St.) proudly announced
today the selection of their September featured artist Mike A. Lopez and the
official opening event on September 18, 2021 from 6 pm - 9 pm in the heart of
Sundance Square. DANG GOOD CANDY is the latest project by prominent Fort Worth
artist Jay Wilkinson who conceived the studio/gallery as a space to jumpstart
careers for new and emerging artists. Combustion, Release, Light is Mike A.
Lopez's first solo show and is a deeply personal body of work that showcases
a life-altering fire that forever shifted the artist's family dynamic. The
project and it's creator are the embodiment of the type of work DANG GOOD CANDY
seeks to add to the cultural experience of Fort Worth.
When asked about his choice of selecting Mike A. Lopez as one of the inaugural
artists to be featured in his new space, Jay Wilkinson said, "We created
DANG GOOD CANDY to be a space that opens its doors to talented artists who have
something important to say in North Texas. Mike is someone I have known for a
long time and have been waiting for an opportunity to work with him on something
creative. When we were selecting artists to showcase this fall, I knew his
incredible work had to be one of the first we put on the walls."
Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Mike A. Lopez's family immigrated to North Texas
when he was only eight years old. His work often explores the immigrant
experience and draws on themes and imagery that coalesce his birthplace and
current home while exploring and challenging ideas of identity, place, and
space. In recent years, his approach to creating work in response to current
events while employing a method of a directorial mode that mixes studio
lighting and traditional techniques outside of a strict studio setting has
caught the attention of galleries throughout Texas. In 2020, his work P.P.E. --
a series exploring the physical barriers and lost connection in response to
COVID 19 -- was featured at Artspace 111, The Dallas Center for Photography,
Deep Red Press, and Rockport Center for the Arts.
When asked about his latest project and the importance of it finding a home at
DANG GOOD CANDY, Mike A. Lopez said, "I feel proud to bring Combustion, Release,
Light to life. This body of work is about tragedy, beauty, connection, and
perseverance told through the eyes of the people who have shaped my life.
Presenting something so deeply personal and beautiful to me can feel
overwhelming, but I am grateful to have the privilege of working with my
long-time friend and colleague Jay Wilkinson and DANG GOOD CANDY to make it
"There are a number of indescribable parallels in the way this deeply personal
and rare event shares so many of the same incomprehensible feelings that many
are experiencing right now in the midst of the pandemic. My hope is that patrons
and guests are able to imagine themselves both forever changed and triumph in
this work," said Lopez.
Combustion, Release, Light is an intimate look at family dynamics
resulting from a once-in-a-lifetime fire that decimated the artist's childhood
home. Using his family as subjects, Lopez invited them to reflect on the event
and how they each created something from a disaster. Like the project's subject
matter, this body of work was produced amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a parallel
time and space of introspection and rebirth. Framed into three key phases,
Combustion, Release, Light includes pre-fire, fire, and post-fire
pieces within the show. The artist illustrates each moment through portraits
and mixed-media capture of a performance art element that revisits the
significant moment in time as it challenges each family member to think about
not just what was lost, but what had changed and, more importantly, what
DANG GOOD CANDY's commitment to new forms of media and experimental art
creates the perfect environment for this type of deeply personal and thought
provoking work. The show will include photographic portraits and a fire brick
printed installation in the center of the space designed to transport patrons
into the experience of combustion; into release; into light.