Oax.D.F.L.A.N.O.H.K.: Mexican-American Artist’s Solo Debut in Asia
Why We Recommend it
Mexican-American artist ektor garcia makes his solo debut in Asia, drawing from Meso-American craft traditions, creating sculptures and ceramics torn between the primitive and intricate.
Empty Gallery presents ektor garcia’s solo Asian debut, Oax.D.F.L.A.N.O.H.K. Its code-like title refers to the different locations in which the artist created the works featured in this exhibition – Oaxaca, Mexico City (previously known as Distrito Federal or DF), Los Angeles, New Orleans and Hong Kong. It is a reflection of how the places he has lived in has influenced his work and become part of his identity.
In a series of hanging works, “Portale(s)” (Spanish for portal), garcia (who keeps his name in lowercase) combines the technique of crocheting, usually used to manipulate softer materials, with the unwieldy stiffness of leather and metal. The products are the size of doorways and windows, woven with soft and delicate detail, seemingly inviting passage through it. yet the material blocks any entry, creating a hopeless dichotomy. The intersecting, complex lines are a representation of the borders and travel routes the artist travelled through in his life and the way he identifies with different countries a thought-provoking idea for us in this period of travel restriction and stagnancy.
Garcia’s other series of sculptures shown in the exhibition concern ceramics, many built from coils of dark, intentionally rusted metal, others dynamically carved. Quasi-totemic and deceivingly primitive, they give the impression of a collection of unearthed artefacts used in ancient rituals or everyday labour. Throughout the exhibition, technical skill combines with traditional elements, exploring the way history is presented and interpreted in a modern context.
Ektor garcia received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014, and his MFA from Columbia University, New York in 2016. His labour-intensive, multi-media work melds elements from ceramics, sculptures, textiles and metalwork, reflecting his interest in queer culture and Mexican traditions. It has been exhibited in Germany, Italy, Mexico, the USA and more.
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