Dario Robleto’s interest in history is evident not only in the ideas he communicates through his art but also in his methods of producing it. By transforming found objects or creating new ones using the visual vocabulary of the everyday, Robleto repurposes and bestows new meanings on familiar items, while also recalling their past lives. Frequently incorporating vinyl records and covers into his work, Robleto assumes the role of a kind of visual DJ, sampling and remixing materials and histories, creating something new from collected elements of the past.
The mixed-media collage Lamb of Man/Atom and Eve/Americana Materia Medica is part of Robleto’s ongoing project in which he imagines his own musical groups and creates their fictional LP album covers. The triptych presents three imaginary record labels (one label per panel) and their musical output for the year. Each record label offers a different and conflicting point of view: religious fundamentalism, scientific rationalism, and American folk medicine. The middle panel, shown here, is for the record label Atom and Eve and features album covers illustrating scientific rationalism.
The artist has invented the musical groups and created all of the text and titles, although some of the designs borrow elements from existing album covers. Robleto’s technique of cutting paper by hand to create his collages reflects his interest in folk and craft traditions. The delicate details in the collages emphasize the investment of the artist in all aspects of their creation.
Lamb of Man/Atom and Eve/Americana Materia Medica will be on view at the Nasher through February 6 in the exhibition “The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl” and at the Institute of Contemporary Art, in Boston, from April 15 to September 5.