Contemporary Art: An Interview with Alejandro Meza
Alejandro Meza’s contemporary art juxtaposes the gesture style with the photographic image.
His paintings present a dramatic mishmash of random photo annals enveloped and veiled with calligraphic oil paint gestures. Hence, it breaks the narrative cliché to explore the powerful relationship between memory/nostalgia and the image. Furthermore, Meza's paintings use the abstract nostalgic power of the image to show the powerful relationship between memory and identity.
Nostalgia and other Melodramas
Alejandro Meza's paintings can be categorized as a true syncretic expression of western contemporary art. They present a mélange of all history, from prehispanic Mexican cultures to colonial iconography, but with a fair dose of global pop culture. Thus, all these elements in their fusion create a cocktail that intoxicates even the most agnostic, and as Meza timorously said about his painting Woman Portrait, "nobody gets out alive; nobody escapes nostalgia."
Introduction and interview by Julio Perdomo, founder of Perdomo Gallery
The following interview was conducted in the artist's studio in Mexico City on Nov. 15, 2021.
Well, just to begin, you don't quite strike me as the nostalgic type. Do you consider yourself nostalgic?
Well, not exactly, just when I am working. At the moment, when I am creating, I nourish and evoke nostalgia and perceive how the image can affect the spectator.
Why do you like to include the image in your paintings? Why not just stick to paint?
I use the image to trap the spectator, like a bee with honey. Often the spectator loses interest; I use images to manipulate the spectator and inspire interest in my paintings.
It seems like the image is a kind of tool or weapon for your paintings so that they can make it in the big bad world. And In the case of Woman Portrait, how does the gesture interact with the image?
Although it is contemporary art, it acts like the chiaroscuro in baroque painting. The spectator has to complete the image. I use the gesture for the same effect. The gesture covers part of the image, so the spectator must complete the image. The gesture invites the spectator to interact with the painting and complete the image as if it were a puzzle.
Your images seem very eclectic. How do you go about choosing your images?
My method of selection is an assiduous process where memory plays a significant role.
The images can be from the history of art or simply vintage photos, but these images permit me to make new icons that interact with collective memory.
Visit Alejandro Meza’s gallery and discover more evocative contemporary art in our Perdomo Gallery’s curated collection.