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This is a blilngual exhibition. please select ENG for English language.

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Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art

Nuestra América: la presencia latina en el arte estadounidense



Larry Levan (three is better than one)

Elia Alba, 2006, printed 2010

gelatin silver print
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by William W.W. Parker, 2013.45.2
© 2006, Elia Alba

copias a la gelatina de plata
Smithsonian American Art Museum, adquisición del Museo gracias a William W.W. Parker, 2013.45.2
© 2006, Elia Alba



Larry Levan (snake)

Elia Alba, 2006, printed 2010

gelatin silver print
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by William W.W. Parker, 2013.45.1
© 2006, Elia Alba

copias a la gelatina de plata
Smithsonian American Art Museum, adquisición del Museo gracias a William W.W. Parker, 2013.45.1
© 2006, Elia Alba



Alba’s photographs challenge the straightforward link between how a person looks and who they are. Here several partygoers wear masks depicting the face of Larry Levan (1954–1992), the legendary DJ of the Paradise Garage in New York City. Levan was a key figure of disco, a musical form originally nurtured in gay, black, and Latino communities. By combining the mask of a man and the body of a female, or placing a brown-skinned mask on a white body, Alba contests narrow definitions of race, gender, and sexuality.
Las fotografías de Alba desafían el vínculo directo entre la apariencia y la identidad personal. Aquí varios enmascarados portan la cara de Larry Levan (1954–1992), el legendario DJ del Paradise Garage de Nueva York. Levan era una figura clave de la música disco, género musical cultivado originalmente entre las comunidades gay, negra y latina. Al combinar la máscara de un hombre y el cuerpo de una mujer, o al poner una máscara de piel morena en un cuerpo blanco, Alba cuestiona las definiciones estrechas de raza, género y sexualidad.


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