Jose Bedia
Yakoto!
1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood 
15 5/8 x 18 1/8 x 8 inches (overall) 
JoBs 24 
 

Jose Bedia
Caros Antojos
1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood 
7 3/8 x 62 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (overall) 
JoBs 26 
 

Jose Bedia
Para un Cubanito viajero
1997
acrylic, found objects, wood 
14 1/2 x 6 3/4 x 9 inches (open) 
JoBs 34 

Jose Bedia
Noche y Dia con la Casa a Cuestas
1997
acrylic, conte on wood 
75 1/2 x 57 x 1 inches (overall) 
JoBs 22 

Jose Bedia
Destino Final
1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood 
8 x 34 x 1 1/4 inches 
JoBs 31 
 

Jose Bedia
Transformacion
1997
ink on paper
17 x 14 inches
JoBd 112
 

Jose Bedia
3 Niveles
1997
ink on paper
17 x 14 inches
JoBd 111
 

Jose Bedia
Actitud
1997
ink on paper 
17 x 14 inches 
JoBd 113 

Jose Bedia
Aliados
1997
ink on paper 
17 x 14 inches 
JoBd 118 
 

Jose Bedia
Gallero
1997
ink on paper 
17 x 14 inches 
JoBd 124 
 

Jose Bedia
Mimesis
1997
ink on paper
17 x 14 inches 

Jose Bedia
La Peticion
1997
ink on paper
17 x 14 inches 

Jose Bedia
Perro de Prenda
1997
ink on paper
17 x 14 inches 

Jose Bedia
El Encuentro
1997
ink on paper
17 x 14 inches 

Jose Bedia
Ahi Viene los Guerreros
1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
13 3/4 x 84 x 5 1/2 inches (overall)
JoBs32 
 

Jose Bedia
Alma de Cuchillos
1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
7 1/2 x 72 1/2 x 1 1/4 inches (overall)
JoBs25 

Jose Bedia
El Lugar que Ocupara
1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
43 x 68 1/4 x 1 1/4 inches
JoBs23 

Jose Bedia
Aspiraciones Erroneas
1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
35 2/4 x 39 x 1 inches (overall)
JoBs29 

Jose Bedia
La Cubana
1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
7 1/2 x 35 3/4 x 1 1/4 inches (overall)
JoBs30 

Jose Bedia
A la Tercera Va la Vencida
1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
24 x 30 3/4 x 1 1/4 inches (overall)
JoBs28 

Jose Bedia
3 Intentos
1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
31 1/2 x 29 x 1 1/4 inches
JoBs27 

Jose Bedia
Entre Dos Naufragios
1997
acrylic and found objects on wood
14 x 2 1/2 x 1 3/4 inches
JoBs33 

Jose Bedia
El que Nacio Pa Buey Suelto
1997
acrylic, conte, mixed media on wood
11 x 18 1/4 x 2 1/2 inches
JoBs21

Jose Bedia
Atrapado En El Barrio
1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
11 x 17 3/4 x 3 1/4 inches (overall)
JoBs20 

Jose Bedia
Fumada
1997
mechanical pen with colored ink on paper
17 x 14 inches (unframed)
JoBd119 

Jose Bedia
Show Announcement Poster

Jose Bedia
Installation View
 

Press Release

Erronea Artesania/
Erroneous Crafts
 
Nov 20 - Dec 20, 1997

Starting Thursday, November 20th the George Adams Gallery will exhibit new works by Jose Bedia. Titled Erronea Artesania (Erroneous Crafts), the exhibition consists of 16 carved and painted wood objects as well as 12 small-scale drawings in colored inks. Bedia has exhibited regularly in New York since his debut exhibition with the gallery in 1991, but this is the first show to focus almost exclusively on his dimensional work.

Like whittling in the United States, Cuba has a long tradition of carving. Cuban children - the young Bedia included -  often make their own toy cars or airplanes out of scraps of wood and bottle caps. In the Erronea Artesania series, Bedia  makes explicit reference to this tradition while imbuing the works with a meaning rarely associated with toys or crafts. 

For example, a three-part piece carved in the shape of trucks and painted with images of huddled figures seems at first glance simply a decorative arrangement. The subject becomes evident, however, in context with the title: Intentos (Intentions), inscribed on the lowest panel, refers to the repeated - and often fateful - attempts by Mexicans to cross the border illegally by hiding in trucks. A second work, A la Tercera Va la Vencida, is a carved and brightly colored arrangement of three ships on which, again, human figures are depicted. The title, a Cuban expression meaning you have only three chances to succeed, refers to the Dominicans and Haitians who have died in the attempt to enter the country illegally by hiding, and often dying, in cargo ship containers. Not all the works refer to immigration: El Lugar que Ocupera (The Space that He Occupied), for example, takes the form of a bridge overpass and suggests what has been displaced by the highway. In Aspiraciones Erroneas (Wrong Aspirations) a series of panels depict a turtle, a bird and a devil fish; each wishes to be something else, not realising that they are better off accepting what they are.


Exhibition Checklist

1. Yakoto!, 1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
5 5/8 x 18 1/8 x 8 inches (overall)
The language spoken by the bearers is ki-kongo, an Afro-Cuban language. This work relates to several of Bedia's earlier works such as A Little Revenge from the Periphery in its emphasis on the role of the non-Western. 

2. Ahi Viene los Guerreros, 1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
13 3/4 x 84 x 5 1/2 inches (overall)
The title literally translates as Here come the Warriors, a reference to practitioners of Palo Monte, Guerreros. The truck is the type of old open-bed truck typically used in Cuba by movers and, in place of  of household goods and furniture, the objects being moved are the charms associated with specific deities in Afro-Cuban religion: Ogun, Elegua, Osun, Ochosi.

3. Caros Antojos, 1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
7 3/8 x 62 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (overall)
Expensive Tastes. This work depicts a limousine carrying a rich man and his entourage of women. 

4. Alma de Cuchillos, 1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
7 1/2 x 72 1/2 x 1 1/4 inches (overall)
Spirit of the Knives. The images refer the use of the knife in Afro-Cuban sacrificial rituals. 

5. Noche y Dia con la Casa a Cuestas, 1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
75 1/2 x 57 x 1 inches (overall)
Day and Night Carrying the House on My Back. The three panels represent three phases of an immigrants journey: the departure (left), perils of the voyage (center) and relocation (right). 

*6. Actitud (Attitude), 1997
mechanical pen with colored ink on paper
17 x 14 inches (unframed)

7. El Encuentro (The Encounter), 1997
mechanical pen with colored ink on paper
17 x 14 inches (unframed)

8. Aliados (Allies), 1997
mechanical pen with colored ink on paper
17 x 14 inches (unframed)

9. Mimesis (Mimesis), 1997
mechanical pen with colored ink on paper
17 x 14 inches (unframed)

*10. Perro de Prenda (Precious Dog), 1997
mechanical pen with colored ink on paper
17 x 14 inches (unframed)

*11. Transformacion (Transformation), 1997
mechanical pen with colored ink on paper
17 x 14 inches (unframed)

12. La Peticion (Prayer), 1997
mechanical pen with colored ink on paper
17 x 14 inches (unframed)

13. 3 Niveles (3 Levels), 1997
mechanical pen with colored ink on paper
17 x 14 inches (unframed)

14. Gallero (Person who raises fighting cocks), 1997
mechanical pen with colored ink on paper
17 x 14 inches (unframed)

*15. Fumada (smoke), 1997
mechanical pen with colored ink on paper
17 x 14 inches (unframed)

16. El Lugar que Ocupara, 1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
43 x 68 1/4 x 1 1/4 inches
The Space that He Occupied. Bedia was taking part in a tribal ritual near Tucson, Arizona, that had been held in the same place for generations. An interstate was constructed along the ceremonial route and now the procession marches along the side of the road in full view of passing motorists. The cut-out in the center panels is meant to suggest loss or what has been displaced, and the form takes the overall shape of a highway overpass.

*17. Destino Final, 1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
8 x 34 x 1 1/4 inches (overall)

18. Aspiraciones Erroneas, 1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
35 2/4 x 39 x 1 inches (overall)
False Hopes. The turtle on the left wants to be a bird; the bird, flying over an aircraft carrier, wants to be a plane; and the sting ray wants to be a star. The smoking guns suggest they are better off staying true to who they already are.

*19. La Cubana, 1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
7 1/2 x 35 3/4 x 1 1/4 inches (overall)
As a child, Bedia rode an old bus into the Cuban countryside to visit his grandparents.

20. A la Tercera Va la Vencida, 1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
24 x 30 3/4 x 1 1/4 inches (overall)
The literal translation is Three strikes and you're out.  The reference is to Haitian and Dominicans trying to enter the US in sealed cargo containers, only to die from starvation, thirst and lack of air.

21. 3 Intentos, 1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
31 1/2 x 29 x 1 1/4 inches
3 Attempts. This is a reference to the Mexicans crossing the border illegally in trucks.

*22. El que Nacio Pa Buey Suelto, 1997
acrylic, conte, mixed media on wood
11 x 18 1/4 x 2 1/2 inches
The one born to be free. The cut-out is the spirit of the bull which has escaped the corral.

23. Atrapado En El Barrio, 1997
acrylic, conte, found objects on wood
11 x 17 3/4 x 3 1/4 inches (overall)
Trapped in the Barrio. This work was inspired by an encounter Bedia had with a fox near his house in what had until recently been dense woods and is now a housing development. Bedia subsequently made a series of drawings on amate paper on this same theme.

*24. Entre Dos Naufragios, 1997
acrylic and found objects on wood
14 x 2 1/2 x 1 3/4 inches
Between Two Shipwrecks. The Balsero floats between two disasters, one Cuba, the other Havana. 

25. Para Un Cubanito Viajero, 1997
acrylic and found objects on wood
14 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 5 inches
A Little Cuba for a Traveller. This box was partly inspired by the story of a balsero who left all of his possessions behind in Cuba except for his bundle of Santos. The box itself takes its form from a Cree Medicine Man's ceremonial peyote box. Depicted inside and around the outside of the box are the important elements of life in Cuba: The three rooms represent different religious practices (Spiritualism, Santeria, Palo Monte).  On the lid are the principal Santos, shown leaving Havana harbor aboard a tanker.  The objects piled together or depicted around the box are typical Cuban things such as rum, cigars, the experiences of the balseros. The box is also meant to be tongue-in-cheek, a reference to the Cuban trait of putting even the worst situation in a positive light: even when you have had to abandon everything you own and love, you can still bring a little Cuba with you.

*Removed from Exhibition