Before language to Hemingway, from the ancient Sumerians to the Greeks to the modern day, there was the sport of boxing. With his exhibit 50 Grand, Chicago-based artist Carlos Rolón/Dzine will present a dually charged exploration of boxing and domestic culture, inspired by the tactility and performative qualities of boxing, and its relationship to contemporary art at Tube Factory artspace, 1125 Cruft St. Though the third iteration of the exhibit, it will features a newly commissioned performative installation of live sanctioned Golden Gloves fights, organized by Indy Boxing and Grappling and sponsored by Top Rank Productions. The exhibit is a nod to Ernest Hemmingway’s 50 Grand, and like the story explores the relationship between courage and professionalism.
Made possible by Herbert Simon Family Foundation (a Central Indiana Community Foundation affiliate), The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Top Rank Boxing, and Sun King Brewing Company.
With this exhibit, Rolón continues to mine his childhood memories. He invites the viewer to step into intimate scenes such as his family’s wood-paneled basement, decorated with gold garlands and vintage beer placards, where his father would watch prize fights like Roberto Durán V. Sugar Ray Leonard, also known as the No Más Fight. This fight was particularly important for Rolon growing up as it allowed him to sit for short periods of time connecting with his father.
Rolón monumentalizes his blue-collar trophy den as the setting for his exhibition, creating an homage not only to boxing culture, but also to Puerto Rican immigration to America.
Within the exhibition is a newly commissioned performative installation of live Golden Glove fights organized by Indy Boxing and Grappling scheduled June 2 and July 7, 7-9 p.m. Fighters will wear robes designed by Rolón on each of the three scheduled fights then on display when the ring is inactive.
Within the main gallery is an installation of paintings and sculptural fabric works exuberant with color, texture, patterns, and experiments in surface that create a visual dialogue between the physical charge of boxing, the garments worn by the fighters, and the artist’s own childhood home and upbringing as a first generation immigrant. Occupying the den is a series of custom-made trophies entitled Immigrants/Emigrants (Symbols and Mementos for the Nuyoricans) created, as the artist states “for people like my father and mother who came to the U.S for a better life with dreams and aspirations that never quite materialized, but still achieved success in other aspects of their life.”
The exhibit runs through July 22 open Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm, Saturdays 11-3 with extended evening hours every first Friday.