Carlos Alarcón’s third solo exhibition at Beatriz Esguerra Art will open on October 7th.
Trial and Error will feature recent works produced by Alarcón, almost a mini-retrospective of works that have been pivotal to the evolution of his artistic practice. Everything seen in this exhibition results from his insatiable appetite for exploring different techniques and alternative ways of working as he develops his ideas.
In a way, all of Alarcon’s work has a touch of irony. Portraits from Anguish deal with the anxieties that we mask in our daily lives, while work from the Soldiers series uses symbols and iconography to comment upon the violence suffered not only on the battlefield but also when we are at home in society. In Par/adoxes, Alarcón’s approach is humorous, utilizing both visual and verbal paradoxes that come in both logical and unexpected pairings, while in Naturalezas Muertas, literally translated as still life or dead nature, he juxtaposes man and object in encounters that are both simple and compelling. With Notes on Art History, Alarcón recreates his old notebooks containing personal annotations on art historical figures and their most iconic works. It is through the process of experimentation, of trial and error, that he finds his own sense of understanding. For Alarcón, “without images the world does not work.”
In his most extensive series yet, Anguish, Carlos Alarcón taps into the universal zeitgeist of anxiety through intimate portraits of friends and strangers alike. Whether tiny detailed drawings and watercolors and very large hand-embroidered portraits, Alarcón captures the psychological inner landscape we only reveal in unguarded moments, bringing us face to face with our own sense of anguish played out in a community of others -- a public/private exchange of emotion. The dramatic change in scale emphasizes both our connection and our disconnect, encouraging us to re-examine our own habit of hiding behind a socially acceptable mask.
The works exhibited will include painting, drawing, watercolor, collage, embroidery and a special performance of the “Anguish Collection Office,” where Alarcón collects written or verbal anxieties, anguishes, and discontents from willing visitors. Each written “anguish” is then preserved to be arbitrarily read by Alarcón and used as inspiration for future portraits in this ongoing series.