Installation view: Alejandro Diaz's "It Takes a Village" at SPACE gallery, Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio. All images courtesy the artist and Royale Projects, Palm Desert, CA. Photos Mark Mejivar.
Diaz at work on one of the canvases for this solo. Internationally exhibited, the artist, known for text pieces and Pop images informed by his Mexican-American heritage, was one of the talents mentored by the late Linda Pace.
The cast resin sculpture, "Muebles (Hat Stand)," 2015, borrows from British Pop master Allen Jones in its take of turning people into home furnishings. There are also social issues at play here, especially regarding migrant workers.
The vitrine "It Takes a Village," 2015, also gave rise to the show's title. It's filled with Diaz's signature mix of high and low, from a cheap plastic radio to Mexican colonial painting.
"This is not a Calder," 2014, quotes from Magritte, while referencing Calder; the hand-woven, hand-dyed wool tapestry was made at the famous Tailer de Gobelinos in Guadalajara.
"Muebles (Table)," 2015, alludes to the plight of migrant workers.
The painting "Facebook Likes," 2015, will soon be appearing on social media.
"Muebles (Chair)," 2015, is startling and disconcerting.
"More Dior, Less War," is on of Diaz's classic neon signs, post Dan Flavin and before Tracey Emin, an example of earlier work (but not included in this show).
In 2005, Diaz was tapped by New York's Public Art Fund for a site-specific installation lining the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.
It’s an important homecoming when San Antonio native son Alejandro Diaz returns to his home town for a one-person solo, “It Takes a Village,” at the Linda Pace Foundation gallery SPACE. The New York-based, internationally exhibited Diaz is one of Pace’s signature artists who showed early on at Artpace, the residency program/kunsthalle founded by the picante sauce heiress. Diaz left San Antonio nearly two decades ago to earn an MA at the prestigious Bard College, New York (1999). This show, curated by former Artpace director Kathryn Kanjo (now chief curator of MOCA, San Diego) draws on his witty high-low mix while addressing immigration and migrant-worker issues and the position of Mexican-Americans in the States, as well as skewering the art world (through September 12). Scroll through the slide show for Diaz’s latest, including the startling Pop-Surreal Muebles.