La Cometa Gallery is delighted to announce a solo show by Colombian artist Alejandro Sánchez (Bogota, Colombia. 1980), which will bring together a new significant group of works from his “Some Economies” project. The exhibition, the first presentation of his work in the United States, will be on view from Sunday, February 18, through Monday, April 1.
The exhibition will feature paintings, sculptures, and an installation where the artist has materialized the correspondences of modern consumerism: the constant conflict between critique and optimism in the face of market dynamics and the social impact caused by economic systems. Sánchez, primarily a painter, transports us between formal painting and conceptual plasticity, pendulum-wise, pushing his practice’s boundaries by taking the canvas’s two-dimensionality into the sculptural field. He incorporates techniques such as trompe l’oeil, mimesis, and hyperrealism to breathe life into the tangible aspects of capital.
In “Wandering Horizons,” the new project phase, the shipping container becomes a medium for experimenting with pigments, surfaces, and ideas. Sánchez leads the viewer to question the uses and displacements through staged objects he reinvents and imbues with new contents. It is a conceptual journey that detaches materiality from plastic experimentation to bring it into a collective experience.
Alejandro Sánchez’s body of work sparks curiosity through the combination of the evident and the hidden in his representations, demonstrating that symbols can transform to acquire a life of their own as they are reinvented. His work astutely denounces social and economic changes in Latin American countries, especially Colombia. According to the artist, globalization, democratization, and the unchecked economic growth of some nations are causes that produce alterations in our social structures. Sánchez examines free trade, privatizations, and multinational corporations as factors driving the evolution of these dynamics. Thus, he reflects through his artistic production on the consequences of these dynamics, such as socio-cultural displacement and cultural uprooting.
Despite most of his works being sculptural, Sánchez considers painting his quintessential plastic language. His work employs pigments on various surfaces to represent different objects, as seen in trompe l’oeil. This allows him to redefine painting, contributing new meanings where the interpretation ceases to be solely linear or frontal and acquires a hybrid character that blurs its boundary with sculpture.
In the series “Some Economies,” arguably his most representative project to date, Sánchez constructs analogies with metal tiles from the outskirts of major cities, swapping and replacing them with new ones. This entails several paradoxes: the life-sized fictitious simulation of an object, the fragile materiality of these tiles juxtaposed with the robustness of the resulting image, and the action generated to obtain their raw material, interpreted as artistic activism. This enables him to embed his work within the social context without succumbing to a strictly local narrative. These containers modify the pictorial support they house, imbuing it with new meaning. Beyond reflecting on international trade dynamics and globalization, they constitute a critique of constructing personal realities based on collective desires.
“I am interested in juxtaposing two types of economies: large traders and entrepreneurs and marginalized communities working in service of them. The materials I use to emulate the containers, such as wood tiles, are used for constructing roofs in marginalized neighborhoods. Thus, I establish an association between the tile’s and the containers’ roughness.”