Happy New Year! Note: A quote from a book that I just finished reading.
"With Graffiti we encounter yet another form of heterogeneity within the field of representation, one that relates to the invasive nature of this type of mark, its criminal character, so to speak, the fact that it is defined by being a violation by the marker of a space that belongs not to him but to another. Thus, no matter what the iconic character of the configuration, the graffiti mark is, like a photograph, always structured indexically, as the trace of the marker's passage, a trace that is therefore always a signature, a sign whose signified always reads, "Kilroy was here; I was here."
Looking forward to the New Year! Many things are happening in the studio, none that I've shared on social media yet. I'm working on a number of other work that still incorporate the tags but are vastly different that the cross over pieces of the last couple of years. These involve the use of grids and monochromes with just hints of the tags visible. I plan on showcasing these pieces along side my evolving Hard Edge paintings.
The Sweet Life, 2015 - Sugarhill Children's Museum
This is an art installation piece I made for the new Sugarhill Children's Museum exhibition titled "Txt: art, language, media". It consists of baseball caps made from book pages on the history of the Harlem Renaissance. Each hand stitched to form the baseball caps. The wall mounted caps have images of the neighborhood as it looked in the early part of the century.
Cut N' Mix: Contemporary Collage at El Museo del Barrio, 2015
On view July 22, 2015 – October 17, 2015
Excited to have these six pieces included in the exhibition "Cut N' Paste: Contemporary Collage" curated by Rocio Aranda-Alvarado at El Museo del Barrio. "This exhibition explores the work of artists experimenting with collage and collage techniques in ways that expand the gestures of cutting paper and mixing various mediums together. It takes as its point of departure some of the concepts from Dick Hebdidge’s series of essays collectively titled Cut N Mix: Culture, Identity and Caribbean Music, published in 1980. In this text, Hebdidge explored the variations of Caribbean reggae and dancehall and other related styles of music as emblematic markers of Caribbean ideas of nationhood, belonging, and the making of culture."
Participating Artists: Elia Alba, Jesse Amado, Blanka Amezkua, Javier Barrera, Maria Berrio, Cecilia Biagini, Michael Paul Britto, José Camacho, Karlos Carcamo, Nat Castañeda, Gaby Collins-Fernandez, Matias Cuevas, Rafael Ferrer, Roger Gaitan, Carolina Gomez, Javier Ramirez/NADIE, Carlos Gutierrez Solana, Hector Madera, Glendalys Medina, Alex Nuñez, Catalina Parra, Carlos Rigau, Hernan Rivera Luque, Linda Vallejo, Rafael Vega and Eduardo Velázquez.
Recently I had the opportunity to make only my second outdoor sculpture. It's in an exhibition titled "Excavate" at the Century House Historical Society in Rosendale, New York. I decided to title the piece after the show since it's made as a site specific piece for the location. I'm very happy with the way the piece turned out. It's lead me to have ideas for future pieces. Century house is part of the Old Jane Mine on the Snyder Estate. It's an old mine that produced most of the cement in New York such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty. The show will be up for about 3 months.
I recently had the chance to install work at 85 Market Street in Newark for a project titled, "Activate Market Street". Organized by Gallery Aferro and curated by artist Jo-El Lopez. This exhibition gave me the opportunity to bring together various work under one theme.
Hard-Edge Painting #151, 2015 Latex and spray enamel on canvas over wood panel.
New work in the studio. Working on a series of black and white pieces all 40" x 30". Decided to focus on black and white. I was feeling that color was getting in the way and making things too busy. Going back to basics allows me the opportunity to work out other elements of the paintings. Such as the interaction between the ground, transparent, and opaque layers of paint.
Starting with a white ground, I tape off a 1" boarder which I then roll with solid color. After that I apply a layer of white and spray paint the tag twice. Rotating the painting so that each tag occupies one half of the painting. I sand the entire area with a rotatory sander and build up the surface with transparent and opaque areas of paint.
This part of the process is intuitive. In the past I've used photoshop to figure things out but for this work I just use a piece of white board to block out what I'm seeing so that I can decide white parts of the tag I'd like to keep. The last part is adding the 1/4 inch black boarder. So far I've made three paintings and will start another 40" x 30 and a slightly larger piece that measures 48" x 38".
Y.ES Collect Contemporary El Salvador - Claire Breukel, Mario Cader-Frech, Simon Vega
So happy to be included in Y.ES Collect Contemporary El Salvador. The first art catalog devoted to the contemporary art scene of El Salvador and its diaspora. The catalog was the brainchild of art patron and collector Mario Cader-Frech with assistance from MARTE Contemporary curator Claire Breukel and artist Simon Vega. It contains many contributions from many art world professionals and collectors. Love the full spread picture of one of my vinyl record sculptures from 2009. Having left ES when I was five years old this has a special significance for me and my family.
Presented as part of Art Basel Miami's "Conversations" series. Moderated by Sam Keller with Mario Cader-Frech, Simon Vega, Tom Healy and Claire Breukel. December 5th, 4-5pm. Honored to have work in this book along with a host of other amazing Salvadoran artists!
While organizing my files the other day I came across an old article in ARTnews Magazine featuring the painter David Reed. I was one of his studio assistants back then, along with artists, Tony Shore, Eddie Chu and Emily. Dean Daderko, now curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston was his office assistant as was artist Andrea Geyer.
I enjoyed those day working in his studio. It gave me a good perspective on the practical aspects of art making and a realistic portrayal of being an artist. How time flies by! The ARTnews article includes a picture of David Reed in his studio with me in the background.
This past week I installed this work, along with two smaller paintings, at Hanson Fitness in SoHo. Harry Hanson the name behind Hanson Fitness owns a series of upscale fitness training studios in NYC with a host of celebrity and high-profile clientele. He's an enthusiastic supporter of my work and the visual arts in general so I'm excited to have work on view at his personal training studio. It was great talking to him about my working process and his personal experience with art and contemporary artists like Sean Scully. I always appreciate someone passionate about art.
Exhibition "10" at MARTE Contemporary (Museo de Arte de El Salvador), 2014
Photo's courtesy of Walterio Iraheta.
These are some installation images of my piece at MARTE Contemporary. It's documentation of my ongoing site specific intervention shown at Hionas Gallery from 2012. I wish I could have done the actual piece in El Salvador but acquiring a low rider is a lot more difficult. It's a great exhibition organized by Chief curator Claire Breukel, programs manager Lucas Arevalo, with support from Mario Cader-Frech.
The exhibition includes work by: Ronald Morán, Simón Vega, Walterio Iraheta, Mayra Barraza, Irvin Morazan, Danny Zavaleta, Luis Paredes, Rafael Díaz, Ernesto Bautista, "Crack" Rodriguez, Mauricio Kabistán, Beatriz Cortez, Patricia Domínguez, Mauricio Esquivel, Eduardo Navas, Natalia Dominguez, Alexia Mirando, Abigail Reyes, and Melissa Guevara.
Echo Art Fair, Buffalo, New York. September 6-7, 2014
Here are images of paintings recently on view at the Echo Art Fair in Buffalo New York. The work was part of a presentation by ROCO - The Rochester Contemporary Art Center to promote their ongoing series "State of the City" which I was part of in 2013. At the fair I showed three 36" x 24" paintings including a number of works on paper. Also exhibiting in the booth was Rochester artist Kurt Ketchum.
Exhibition"10" at MARTE Contemporary, El Salvador.
I'm participating in the exhibition "10" at The Art Museum of El Salvador (MARTE). The show opens Sept 1 and will be on view through October 12, 2014. Included are documentation images of my ongoing lowrider piece "Parked in An Exaggerated Manner; East Coast". I wish I could have done the actual car intervention there but that's difficult to do in a place like El Salvador.
My interests lie in the history of modernism and the formal language of abstraction re- contextualized through the prism of urban culture. My work is in private and public art collections including Red Bull Corp, Deutsche Bank, El Museo del Barrio and Museo de Arte de El Salvador.
I live and work in Beacon, New York.