Lata, a Spanish word for “can” combined with the word America, is a Spanglish play on words for “Latin America”.
Lata America explores the re-imagination of beer and soda cans as a means to reclaim and redefine the narrative attached to individuals and communities that collect cans as a means of financial empowerment. Raised in a low-income household and later growing up to occupy predominantly privileged spaces, Gabriela created the Lata America series as a dedication to her mother, her community and those like hers.
Each can in the series was intentionally selected and remained with endearing and colloquial words and phrases commonly heard in Latin American households. Each word and or phrase parallels colloquial words found in each cans original country of origin.
Listen to the artist talk about their work:
About Gabriela Alemán
Gabriela Alemán, also known as Smug Morenita on the internet, is a Nicaraguan/Salvadoran artist, community organizer and political consultant based in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Resonating with the aesthetic of comics and pop art, her work consists of boldly colored graphics that primary highlight Central American subjects and cultural iconography not found in most mainstream or Latinx art.
Self-taught, she began drawing and experimenting with different materials and mediums as a child, as a means to explore her experiences as a first-generation Central American. Her subjects range from folklore dancers to reimagined beer cans and cultural iconography. She’s devoted to using her art to bring visibility to the Central American diaspora and is a proud product of San Francisco’s Mission District.
Meet The Artist
Gabriela Aléman will be at SOMArts on January 24th, 2019 from 6 – 9 pm for the reception of Lata America. Visit The Ramp Gallery for a chance to meet the artist, talk about their work and inspiration, have a drink and enjoy their awesome artwork! While you’re here, stop by the closing reception of our Main Gallery exhibition, Reorienting The Imaginaries. A cash bar will be available all evening.