'Imperial', 2021 Acrylic on canvas 46 x 61 inches / 127 x 152 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Anat Ebgi Gallery

Alejandro Cardenas in ‘Wish You Were Here’ @ Anat Ebgi Gallery

August 3, 2021

Mr. Alejandro Cardenas provides a spark of the cerebral with the opening of Wish You Were Here at Anat Ebgi Gallery. His series presents a consternating reflection on works of art which are emotionally distant yet upon consideration provoke an eerie sense of wonder.


The compositions of his work present us with a bizarre yet animated world. It is this imagination alone which is not exactly seductive upon first glance. It does not jolt nor stupefy with a drunken savoring of excitation. And this is not the works’ intent. They provide a secret window into an almost Alien planet with a recurring sense of void extending into the horizon, while the figures occupying the space are sufficient in pensive poses.


The works require serious contemplation in order to reveal and ultimately extend our mental perceptions. These works are philosophic joys; though to be certain Mr. Cardenas’ efforts at painting vividness is well-embraced; to give the compositions even more complexity to the tension of solitude and loneliness. Imperial is a paragon example. It is almost Rodin-inspired in the meditation of an organic figure, isolated in the stasis, surrounding itself with fruity pinkiness. This sense of balance is revealed with an affirmation on the courage to be alone, autonomously, efficiently – or self-sufficiently. It is to declare one’s autonomous sovereignty as imperial: that which no one else is permitted to take away.


‘Spear House’, 2021
Acrylic on canvas 46 x 61 inches / 127 x 152 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Anat Ebgi Gallery


It is exactly this sense of private extension which is critically elaborated upon with Spear House. Here, it is discovered the figures live in a society. Yet, they are still sufficient in their own mannerisms, providing us with further intrigue into the nature of these pseudo-anthropomorphic figures transplanted in an alternative universe. The sense of extension is made apparent in the title; yet notice how invisible the perception is under such regimented forms with a horizon perspective extending unto the infinite? This further gives us a moment of enjoyable pausing to accommodate ourselves to a world which feels like a lonely planet. And with that reflectance, there is relaxation in the daring to, in the words of Charles Bukowski, go all the way.


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