Region: Pacific Coast
Alejandro Cardenas’s work depicts fluid and graphic characters populating verdant landscapes and dreamlike interiors. Humanoid, at times monstrous, subjects shapeshift, sublimate, and pose in various states of fluctuating energy—lounging on furniture, performing acrobatics, embracing one another. Cardenas pays special attention to tangential lines, repeated angles, and tessellations in each evocative figure, producing iconic—almost hieroglyphic––scenes. The artist grounds these figures within the impressionistic depth of his compositions, but by contrast their silhouettes are bound in flat space, filled with undulating patterns or an inky blackness. The mysterious world depicted is simultaneously organic and cosmic, built up with layers of watercolor, gouache, and acrylic, heightening the sense of hybridity. Along with surrealist painters such as Max Ernst, Wilfredo Lam, and Roberto Matta, Cardenas shares the desire to look inward—to collect drips of subconscious leaking through the cracks of dreams—collapsing past and future, flatness and dimensionality.