Gallery Exhibitions

How One Becomes What One Was

6.10.23 - 7.22.23

LVL3 is proud to present How One Becomes What One Was, a two-person exhibition featuring Ricardo Partida and Bruno Smith.

In How One Becomes What One Was Partida and Smith present new bodies of work that contextualize and complicate our understanding of folklore and mysticism in the 21st Century. Partida’s work largely functions to critique and reimagine depictions of gender amongst Western Painting. Much of the imagery found in Partida’s paintings is derived from Greek Mythology, referencing these figures and myths that embody a sense of both power and desire. Smith’s work constructs a hieroglyphic language that reckons with time, decomposition, and one’s relation to the natural world. Through its constant collection and cannibalization of found objects, paintings, sculpture, and organic matter Smith’s work plays on the misinterpretation of the past and a development of alt-history;  adapting our notions of the past to better suit our 21st century goals. Within both Partida and Smith’s respective interests they have found the legend of the Quinametzin giants to be a point of departure for this exhibition; giant beings who faced extinction and are believed to be predecessors to the later Aztec gods. How One Becomes What One Was proposes new models for understanding the world around us by mythologizing the self.

Me Ug. Ug find strange object in field day ago. Object look like arm, but not arm. Ug not know what it do. Maybe witchcraft. Maybe gods leave present for Ug?

Me and Uggie try figure it out, but no luck. We try hit things with it, but no make loud noise like club. We try put it on, but no make us stronger like mammoth hide.

Ug and Uggie show object to other cavemen. They also not know what it do. Some say maybe it for playing music, but no make sound when we hit it. Others say maybe it for making fire, but no have flint or spark like we know.

Me worried maybe it bring bad spirits or curse on us. Uggie say me silly, but Ug not take chances. We put object in faraway cave, away from village. Maybe it safe there.

Me hope it not anger gods or bring curse on tribe. Maybe never know what object do. Maybe never find out if it witchcraft or gift. Me feel dumb, but maybe better that way.

Me hope you well, cave brother.




Me Ug. Ug write to you with fear in heart. Remember strange arm me find in field? Me tell you about it before.

Well, me and Uggie go check on it today and see if still there. But when we get there, arm not there! Gone! We look around, but no find it. Me and Uggie confused, scared.

But then, me see something strange. In distance, me see arm moving on its own! Me and Uggie running towards it, but it already started moving back to the field where we find it.

Me and Uggie feel like we going crazy. We no understand how arm move by itself. Maybe it really witchcraft, like we think before. Or maybe gods angry for us hiding it away.

Me and Uggie follow arm back to field, but then it stop moving. Just lay there, like before. Me and Uggie too scared to touch it, so we run back to village.

Me and Uggie tell other cavemen what happen, but no believe us. They think we make up story to scare them. But me swear to you, it really happen!

Me no know what to do now. Me scared to go back to field, but me also scared to leave arm there. Maybe me and Uggie bury it? So no one find it again.

Me hope you okay, cave brother. Me need advice.



Opening Reception: Saturday, June 10th:  6:00 – 9:00pm

Press Release Here.

Gallery hours are Sundays 1-4 pm and can also be made by appointment. Email or call/text 312-469-0333to reserve a time outside of gallery hours.

Bruno Smith | Neanderthal watching a nuclear explosion from a cave | 2023 | Inkjet print on Canvas
Ricardo Partida | Moo Moo | 2023 | Oil on canvas | 18” x 24”
Bruno Smith | Neanderthals eating McDonald’s burger | 2023 | Inkjet print, gouache on paper | 29’’ x 22’’
Ricardo Partida | Heavenly Titan | 2023 | Graphite on paper | 42” x 44”
Bruno Smith | Neanderthals crying (EXXON) 560,000 | 2023 | Inkjet print, gouache on paper, resin, fossils | 15’’ x 18’’
Bruno Smith | Neanderthals playing soccer (Valvoline/Aramco) 13,600,000, | 2023 | Inkjet print, gouache on paper, resin, fossils | 15’’ x 18’’
Ricardo Partida | Morning Star (what is your horizon) | 2022 | Oil on canvas | 27” x 38”
Ricardo Partida | Heavy Metal | 2023 | Graphite on paper | 42” x 44”
Ricardo Partida | In the Lion’s Den | 2023 | Graphite on paper | 42” x 44”
Bruno Smith | Neanderthal looking at the Eiffel Tower from a cave | 2023 | Inkjet print, oil on canvas, ceramic | 16’’ x 12’’
Bruno Smith | Neanderthal taking a photo of the champ elysee from an iPhone (Exxon) | 2023 | Inkjet print, Oil on canvas, ceramic | 12’’ x 12.5’’
Bruno Smith | Neanderthals building the pyramids of Giza | 2023 | Inkjet print, acrylic on canvas, ceramic | 14’’ x 11.5’’
Bruno Smith | Neanderthals painted in the sistine chapel (fifa) | 2023 | Inkjet print, Oil on canvas, ceramic | 12’’ x 11’’
Ricardo Partida | Fagazons | 2023 | Oil on canvas | 38” x 27”
Bruno Smith | Google Hominid | 2023 | Ceramic, lightbulbs, cords, sensor | 8’’ x 11’’ x 6’’
Bruno Smith | 2% Me | 2023 | Wood, fossil, great stuff, resin, steel, power amp, rock speakers, wig | 34’’ x 74’’