Interactive art exhibition portrays paranoia with dark sense of humor

By Natalie Phetsamone/reporter

Generation Boom, Angel Cabrales
Generation Boom, Angel Cabrales
Preparative Para la Invasion, Angel Cabrales
Preparative Para la Invasion, Angel Cabrales

Turn of the Sentry, a mixed-media art exhibition by an El Paso artist, is showing at the TR East Fork Gallery through Feb. 28.

“[It] is an interactive installation where the viewer will be immersed into the work itself,” said artist Angel Cabrales.

The collection focuses on modern fears induced by the increase in mass shootings, conflicts over Second Amendment rights and privacy invasion in the name of security, Cabrales said.

“My style could be described as playfully deadly,” he said. “I work with a number of mediums, so my work can go from candy-coated grenades to prison-style playgrounds to stylized commercial torture devices.”

Gallery curator and art instructor Angel Fernandez is excited about the exhibit.

“Cabrales creates some of the most important work I have seen made in Texas,” Fernandez said. “I think it will be quite something to experience.”

And viewers should be prepared for anything.

“The first time I met Angel he was finishing up a scaled-down Patriot missile launcher that actually fires golf balls,” Fernandez said.

The art is provocative and is impeccably crafted, Fernandez said.

Cabrales’ work is playfully entertaining while pushing conventional boundaries, his website says.

Presenting serious issues in this format heightens awareness of the subject matter and invites a closer conversation, according to Cabrales’ website.

After viewing the artist’s most recent work, student David Bui is intrigued.

“I’m not well-versed in the art world, but I felt he was trying to say that the children of this generation must be caged and watched at all times,” Bui said.

Cabrales is sharing his work with TCC for the first time since 2010 when, as a SE sculpture instructor, he showed in a faculty exhibition.

This showing was originally scheduled for the fall but had to be moved to spring.

“It worked out well because we are starting the year with a bang,” Fernandez said.