56 Henry is pleased to present “Lágrimas de Oro,” an exhibition of twelve terra-cotta vessels by Nicaraguan-American artist, Joel Gaìtan. This is Gaìtan’s first NYC solo exhibition and will be on view from March 26th through May 7th.

Joel Gaìtan is a storyteller. The artist’s curvaceous vessels twine his ancestral lineage with his personal. The show’s title, Lágrimas de Oro(Tears of Gold), alludes to the legend of La Llorona, a woman who drowns her children and experiences fierce regret. She is stuck in purgatory, destined to wander the earth and weep over her lost children for eternity. From the literal tears of Llorona Llorona (The Weeping Woman) to the ejaculation of tears in Leche de Oro (Golden Milk), gilded tears are a pictorial device recurrent in the exhibition.

Many of the sculptures are euphorically, overtly, erotic such as El Turkon and Brooklyn Bridge, but they are equally demonstrations of tenderness and love. In Madonna y Cipote (Madonna and Child), Gaìtan imbues his sculpture with the familial intimacy of mother and child. She’s a Central American Madonna full of beauty and pride with earrings reading “Managua, Nicaragua.”

Fragments of Nicaraguan culture adorn the sculptures. Protruding scales along the bosom of Se Vende Pitaya (Pitaya for Sale) honor the cactus species bearing dragon fruit native to tropical regions such as Nicaragua. Gaìtan is deeply invested in tradition - hand building and coiling each ceramic in the shape of burial urns - but his Madonna wears gilded hoops, his couples 69, and his pitaya seller has pierced nipples.

Joel Gaitan was born in 1995, he lives and works in Miami, FL. In 2021, Gaìtan was the subject of solo exhibitions at KDR305 and NADA Miami. This is the artist’s first exhibition with 56 Henry.