Patterns of Protest

June 27, 2014 - July 26, 2014

  • Alejandro Aguilera

Consisting of works created over the last two years, Patterns of Protest started in 2008 during the time of the global economic crisis. Aguilera began channelling the daily news events and depictions of large groups protesting into his drawings and studio practice. In these works, Aguilera embodies the mind of the journalist, painting cinematic scenes of the unfolding spectacle. The public arena is a place of improvisation, where the individual morphs into a potent force for change.

The exhibition is anchored by Black Drawing [Blue and Red Convention] (2013), an immense work with a muralist perspective of space. Pieced together from six individual drawings, Aguilera combines them for an immersive experience of the public arena. An improvised assemblage, Aguilera connects the scenes by expanding on individual riffs to capture the energetic forces that brings individuals together. Movements of line create swirling highways in the landscape oscillating to the beat of industry. The intensity of the crowd is reflected in the layering of marks, creating a cosmos of people in a dance of public protest. Everything manifests in this jigsaw-style composition, where the outcome is uncertain.

Creation and destruction are linked in the political, the social, in nature and in art. Aguilera is interested in shifting psychological landscapes, beyond ideology. Reporting through drawing he takes the political cartoon to abstraction to convey the idolatry of caricature with his own artistic sensibility. A tsunami takes the form of an explosive “strike” of water in a chaotic landscape; a still life painting is depicted with a sense of movement and flow; the Venezuelan flag is reduced to it’s primary colors that become beams of energy zig zagging across the composition.

Alejandro Aguilera, born in Cuba in 1964, lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. Aguilera’s work is included in the public collections of the National Museum Palace of Fine Arts in Havana, Cuba; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey, Mexico, the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale, FL; Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA.

Notable recent exhibitions include his solo exhibition ‘About the Modern Spirit…’ at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia (2012) and ‘Caribbean: Crossroads of the World’ at the Pérez Art Museum, Miami, FL (2014). In September 2014, Aguilera will be featured in the traveling group exhibition ‘Stealing Base: Cuba at Bat,’ at Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA.