MFA Thesis Exhibition: Jc Santistevan & Zekiel Betzer

Zekiel Dirk Betzer is an oil painter.. His paintings are a visual representation of transfiguration – the elevation of daily life into myth. He draws inspiration from cultural beliefs, objects of personal significance, memories, and dreams to construct scenes which evoke the divine. He believes that, if we defer to monolithic ideologies to narrativize our life, we are prescribed a relationship with the transcendent, rather than discovering it; leading us down the path of ideological possession. He is principally interested in how we, as both artist and audience, invent meaning, and how this invention informs the way we engage with reality; especially how objects or memories become sacred. The purpose of his work is, firstly, to elevate, transform, or recontextualize mundane items; secondly, to arrange these items on canvas in a visually coherent, narrativized way; and lastly, to inspire the same method of transfiguration in the mind of the audience.

Ni de aqui ni de alla...
Ni de aqui ni de alla navigates the complexities of belonging to two cultures–Mexican and American–while not fully identifying with either. By visualizing liminal spaces, migratory patterns, and quotidian subject matter the work serves as a metaphor for the Latinx experience in the United States–an experience defined by conflicts between conformity and resistance, individuality and community, spirituality and secularism, alienation and belonging. “Black and white are the colors of photography...they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair,” Robert Frank once said, and it is through a nonlinear installation of black and white imagery that I seek to describe the push and pull of both cultures, and how accepting one over the other may lead to a loss of identity, or, a reality of many ways of being.


Thursday, April 13, 2023 | 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Chase Fine Arts Center, Tippetts and Eccles Galleries

Other Dates

  • Friday, April 14

Event Type



Art and Design

Target Audience

General Public






Event Contact

Name: CCA Box Office
Phone: 4357978022




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