In recent years, my body of work consisted of the reinterpretation of the image temporary installed as sculptural installations in construction type frame-works such as beds of dirt, objects suggesting basic shelter, and towers created out of dry wall and found driftwood, cement, and insulation. The intention was to create objects that explore the ideas of shelter within the “first” and “third” worlds and the basic necessities needed to keep the body functional. The use of the iconic “HOME” as a universal symbol is used in my work as a platform for criticism and contemplation of architecture as well as the truths and illusions established by religious, cultural, and financial institutions.
My current body of work continues to focus on that theatrical stage using HOME as mythical images for understanding reality. It focuses on the ritualistic aspects as theater along with public intervention and art education within community building. The creation of portable platforms as social sculpture in community collaboration has become the focal point of my “object making” practice. These sculptural theatrical platforms become a center for symbolic community actions addressing issues like global migration, urban sprawl, cultural isolation, mobility, ideas of sanctuaries as social protection, and oral and visual histories.
“Duarte melds contemporary art concerns and an updated social realism into a new and compelling synthesis that is simultaneously passionate and sober, and both timely and timeless. In an era governed by jingoist fantasy and the exploitation of social and economic division, he reinserts politics —without rancor or false theatricality— into art and reasserts our common humanity.” Dewitt Cheng, 2007
Caleb Duarte, born 1977, migrated from Northern Mexico to the farm working communities of the Central Valley in California. He began to paint at an early age and continued his studies at the San Francisco Art Institute and at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Duarte has exhibited his work in Pienza Italy, Mumbai India, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Santiago de Cuba, Mexico, Miami, New York, and through out the Bay Area. His work has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Art LTD magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, SPARK public television, and others. Duarte has worked with communities in Honduras, Mexico, Cuba, Japan, and the US. His work explorers the possibilities that art can have in celebrating creative thinking and social awareness, transforming the residue of tragedy into opportunities for healing.