ReceptionSaturday, January 23, 3 – 5 PMIn Person, Mask Required
Güelcome to my Bereaved Chimera of La La Land
Pre-Columbian Era (denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance)
This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Raiza Marina Contreras Blanco a.k.a La Negra 7/23/1951-9/29/2019 and Carlos Alberto Blanco a.k.a “El Quemao
A thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve.
In Alejandro Contreras’ second solo exhibition at the Mindy Solomon Gallery, he explores mortality and change. Having experienced the loss of his beloved mother and uncle in close proximity he used his artistry to process the pain, throwing himself into creating a frenetic and textural body of work. Having been afforded the opportunity to do a residency through Oolite South Florida at Anderson Ranch in Aspen, Colorado, Contreras inhabited the print studio and produced in a manner rarely seen. His energy and drive fueled by tragedy and loss.
Güelcome, meaning welcome in Venezuelan vernacular, is a swan song of sorts. Welcoming in the enormity of grief and processing the stages one must go through to learn to function and move forward in their daily lives without the presence of their loved ones. Ironically at a time of deep sadness, Contreras was offered admission to Columbia University in New York City for his Master of Fine Art’s degree. Closing up his studio and discarding works no longer of interest he has begun to assimilate the modus operandi of his art practice into a cohesive whole. Gathering works and destroying others is a metaphor for understanding loss in his life and moving forward in a positive way.
The laser cut woven prints in the exhibition are representative of the pieces he made while at Anderson Ranch. Taking ideas previously expressed through cut vinyl, the woven works are both dynamic and tactile. His larger vinyl, paint and shaved aluminum on metal pieces have a strong physical presence that speaks to his command of sculpture and his previous years as an art handler.
Utilizing large banners and dramatic wall paint, Contreras presents a show that is both elegy and rebirth; an opportunity to reckon with the past and make a dramatic visual leap forward.
About Alejandro Contreras
Alejandro Contreras is a Venezuelan-born artist currently living and working between New York and Miami. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Florida, New world School of the Arts and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University.
Contreras’ body of work is rooted in material experimentation. His bold and dynamic multimedia explorations weave past and present artworks into an ever-evolving material dialogue; often transforming two-dimensional abstract paintings into three-dimensional sculptures.
He has been part of group and solo exhibitions at Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami, FL; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC; White Box, Harlem, NY; Frost Museum of Art, Miami, FL; McLoughlin Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Spinello Gallery Miami, FL; Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL, among others. He recently completed the Home and Away residency sponsored by Oolite Arts at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass Colorado.