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Fort Worth’s Newest Gallery, DANG GOOD CANDY, Selects Emerging Artist Mike A. Lopez for its Third Feature Show

August 12,2021

Reposted from Holland Collective

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 Wilkson 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 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 Wilkson and DANG GOOD CANDY to make it a reality.” 

“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 remained. 

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. 

Location Mentioned: Sundance Square Plaza