Nicaragua: William Grigsby Vergara Exhibition [REVIEW]



Purpose: Exhibition opening of poet and painter William Grigsby Vergara
Location: Alliance française, Managua
Time: Friday evening
Atmosphere: Mellow, mostly youthful
Mood: Curious

“If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans, 8:31)

Poet and painter William Grigsby Vergara has a pointed answer, in three parts: government, church, and capitalism.

All are given the enormous weight of blame for society’s ills. And in one fell swoop manifested at an art exhibition, Grigsby dispatches the accused trinity—using the very symbols that identifies each—against itself.

It is 21st-century iconoclasm, a reactionary impulse from a twenty-something who demands more from the institutions who are supposed to protect us.

  • A disembodied, yet familiar pair of hands—adorned with multiple rings—play puppeteer with traditional dancers.
  • A trepanned Rubén Darío bleeds from his head wound (in the shape of Nicaragua). On closer inspection, the bleeding originates on the right side, or Atlantic coast.
  • A juxtaposition of two historic icons: a famous rebel leader wears the mask of a Spaniard from a play about a mischievous anti-colonialist.
  • A blind Lady Justice, cracked from fragility and clothed in the national flag, holds a scale which tips in favor of wealth against a guardabarranco, the national bird.

These are but a few examples of paintings that Grigsby created to illustrate his argument. However, it doesn’t end there—each painting is accompanied by an intense poem, at once suggestive of and conspicuous in its message.

What is the observer supposed to think, or better yet, do with such enlightenment?

[N.B. This is not an official Department of State website or blog. The views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State.]

Previous Post: Nicaragua: Discovering DéLana R.A. Dameron
Next Post: Nicaragua: Commemorating Dr. David Jones Peck

  • Adolfo Beteta

    It was a good expo. I remember in 2009 he had his first one but this one is more mature, especially in subject matter. I actually bought the Dario painting, I love the symbolism and the poem that accompanies the piece.