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Artist of the Day | Jairo Alfonso

Jairo Alfonso - 65

Jairo Alfonso

65, 2017 Watercolor and pencil on paper 35 x 50 cm.


Jairo Alfonso is interested in exploring material culture from an archaeological perspective, particularly the multilayered nature of objects, their history and symbolism, in paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, performances, and mixed media works on paper.

Alfonso reflects on the relationship we, as human beings, establish with the objects we create, use and discard. He explores two forms of relationships: hoarding and disassembling.

Alfonso addresses hoarding as “horror vacui” drawings. These works depicts accumulations of objects, devices and accessories from everyday life, piled up, and drawn closely together, so as to flood the pictorial space. Each object is represented life-size. Hoarding as clear sign of consumerism informs this series. He pairs the act of drawing with that of consuming goods, which is why her packs these metaphorical boxes with objects of every kind. The title of the works indicate the number of objects drawn in it.

As for the dissasembling series, the artist focuses on a single object which function is that of offering audio or visual information (radios, cameras, tvs, etc...), and the act of dismantle it becomes an anatomic lesson of sorts, which allows the viewer to metaphorical immerse themselves into a new world composed by the history, epoch, ideology, materials and shapes hidden in this artifacts. From these works he usually extracts the objects that become subjects of his videos, characterized by the use of the stop-motion animation.

Jairo Alfonso is a Cuban artist living and working in New York. He graduated from the Higher Institute of Art (ISA) in Havana. Alfonso has been featured in more than ten solo exhibitions worldwide and in over 60 group shows. His works have been part of important shows, such as Flow: Economies of the Look and Creativity in Contemporary Art from the Caribbean, Washington DC (2014); Cuban America: An Empire State of Mind, Lehmann College Art Gallery, New York (2014); Occupying, Building, Thinking: Poetic and Discursive Perspectives on Contemporary Cuban Video Art (1990-2010), Contemporary Art Museum (USF) Tampa (2013); Politics: I don't like it, but it likes me, Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdanks (2013); Killing Time: An exhibition of Cuban artists from the 80s to the present, Exit Art, New York (2007); Batiscafo/ Proyecto Circo. 8 Bienal do Mercosul. Ensaios de Geopoética, Porto Alegre (2011; Instrumentaciones (Solo show) at Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana (2000), to name a few.

In 2015 he received a summer residency at the Marble House Project, Vermont, and in 2014 he was granted the residency by the STAR program at Guttenberg Arts, New Jersey. He has recently received a Grant from the Pollock- Krasner Foundation.

His work is part of the Jorge L. Pérez Collection, Miami; the Museum of Latin American Art Collection, Los Angeles; the Permanent Collection of the Province of Hainaut; the Havana Galerie Collection, Zürich, among others. courtesy of,

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