Claudia Lozano, Chico [portrait of the artist], 2018. Digital photograph.
“I Don’t Wanna Wait for Our Lives to Be Over” marks the first solo museum exhibition in the United States for Manuel Solano. Working across mediums, Solano explores issues of identity and its formation by drawing from their personal life, memories, and popular culture.
That art and images are central to the construction of our perception and to our lives is crucial to Solano’s practice. The artist’s previous series “Blind Transgender with AIDS” is a commentary on the experience of losing their sight due to an HIV-related illness and recreating a visual arts practice following blindness.
The centerpiece of “I Don’t Wanna Wait for Our Lives to Be Over” is a painted diptych that takes on the themes of (mis)recognition and identification inspired by the artist’s memory of an encounter with a female stranger. Solano felt this stranger bore an uncanny resemblance to themself, and experienced a strong feeling of connection with her. This long-passed moment of recognition and identification lingers in Solano’s mind to this day. The artist also collaborates with their mother, Claudia, an amateur photographer who abandoned her practice in order to raise her family and is now largely Solano’s caretaker. Both artist and mother have created portraits of each other through painting and photography, respectively. These projects are complemented by video and installation works.
(Photo courtesy of the artist.)