"Celebrating Diversity: Chiachio & Giannone," currently showing at the Museum of Latin American Art, demonstrates the extreme limits of embroidery.
Chiachio & Giannone are Leo Chiachio and Daniel Giannone. Both Argentinian, they live and work together in Buenos Aires. The pair compare their work to “painting made with threads. When we embroider we have the same attitude we had when painting in the way we use color and the exploration of the subject. We like to imagine we paint with needles. All our work is done by hand embroidery.”
Chiachio and Giannone highlight the value of diversity and overcoming gender distinctions. Portraits are the most recurrent element in their works: self-portraits in which they are depicted in disguise against backgrounds of profuse vegetation and a multiplicity of colors. The MoLAA exhibit features the artists’ completed art works, a wall of sketches, several albums of their work and video interviews.
According to Dr. Lourdes Ramos-Rivas, MoLAA president, the flag created at MoLAA during this exhibit will travel to several Southern California venues, to help pay tribute to gender diversity. Jean Hartman, president of the board of directions for the Long Beach AIDS Food Store, one of the exhibition’s sponsors, said, “We are truly honored to be part of this celebration of diversity. We are beyond thrilled to retire our current Pride flag, and will be carrying this work of art in 2019.”
When asked to describe their work, the artists replied, “we repeatedly talk about the family, and the changes of family in society, in our case, a family of two men with their dogs. Humor is always another element that is always present. We like to imagine different scenes in our imagination and we work really hard to represent our dreams as closely as possible."
The couple said they have many sources of inspiration: David Hockney, the work of Rousseau, Piet Mondrian, Constantin Brancusi, William Morris, Judith Scott, Louise Bourgeois etc.; literature (Yukio Mishima, David Leavitt, Horacio Quiroga); Kabuki theater; cinema (David Lynch, John Watters, Pedro Almodóvar); music (Madonna, Bryan Ferry, MIA, Chamamé (typical music of the Argentine coast); fashion (Alexander McQueen) and men’s fashion magazines, to name a few.
Celebrating Diversity runs through Aug. 4. Fabric donations may be dropped off in the MoLAA lobby during operating hours. MOLAA is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with extended hours on Thursday to 9 p.m. MoLAA is at 628 Alamitos Ave.
Admission is $10 ($7 for seniors older than 65, $7 for students with ID). Admission is free on Sundays and every fourth Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. For information call 562-437-2486 or go to https://molaa.org/chiachiogiannone.