Rolando Briseño’s print, Cosmic Mirror, addresses the sacred relationship between the individual and the cosmos, between culture and nature. The tablescape comprising the bottom half of this vertical diptych is typical of Briseño’s work, such as his Serie V print Bicultural Tablesetting. He uses the table as a symbol for culture because it is the focal point of many rituals, like eating and gathering, which different societies and peoples perform in daily life. A knife, fork, and plate are displayed on an oilcloth, which reminds the artist of Mexican restaurants and working-class Latino homes from his childhood. The spiral, also typical of Briseño’s work, is an archetypal symbol of infinity complemented by the spiral form of galaxies in the top half of the diptych. Reproduced from photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, the halo formed by the fifteen galaxies, stars, and supernovas becomes a window into the infinite. The top half of the diptych is juxtaposed with the artist’s self-portrait on the bottom to remind the viewer of one’s relationship to the natural world.
Tejano artist Rolando Briseño was born and currently lives in San Antonio, and has studied or resided in Mexico City, Lima, Austin, New York City, and Italy. His artwork serves to bring Mexican-American and Chicano culture to the forefront of mainstream culture.