Moises Aragon, Pink Redux
Moises Aragon has a strict sense of design that feeds his practice in a way that is rare, unique and radiant. He will be showing his work (in fact on an ipad! under glass) in the Swee(t)Art Drawing Gallery at the Simple Bestiary show on July 10th. I see him pretty often at the Hive as he is my studio mate and often rolls good cigarettes that he shares with me. I love this kid. You can come see his big scale paintings at the Hive this Friday night. There is a preview posted here of the paintings before the show is hung. I recommend this as a great stop on your First Friday tour this week..
click this image to enlarge!
Obi: How did you come to Oakland? I know you are from the South, I wonder how the Art scene differs between here and there.
Moises: I came to Oakland by happenstance. I’ve been on an artistic nomadic path for the past 8 years and Oakland was just another stop. Though, unlike other cities, Oakland/bay area has always been intriguing region. I was here 3 years ago and explored a lot on foot and I experienced a rich weird culture to say the least. I think it’s the lack of pretentiousness that drew me back here.
Miami on the other hand..Miami is a place with great and wonderful art, limitless resources for artists and great exposure for emerging artists but only for four days out of the year. I’m referring to mega art showcase Art Basel Miami Beach, “sister event” of Art Basel Switzerland. For the past 8 years that event has transformed Miami’s then non existing art scene into something very ugly; I can run the analogy of an actor trying to hit it big in Hollywood. It’s somewhat fizzling down now and the opportunity to actually get shown in galleries is a reality, but make sure you have your Harvard degree handy. I’m being a bit facetious but in reality you really don’t need talent in the Magic City. Unless your are a graduate of some sort, have good connections and/or have a lengthy resume your chances of even getting a foot in the door are slim.
Obi: Pink Redux is the name of your show at the Hive in July. Where does this name come from?
Moises: It’s a statement; Pink is debuting..for a second time. I’ve been working on this series for the past 11 years. It started off strictly abstract, heavily influenced by politics..I had great material to work with then. Over time I matured and my work matured and though politics was still an influence it wasn’t my main motivation, I was focusing more on conflicting ideologies. A couple of years after that transition I stopped producing tangible work and embraced technology as a medium and a studio. Now I have a traditional studio and I make tangible work that’s supplemented by technology and this new work is what’s going to be shown, Pink Redux.
Obi: Your work is unabashedly fearless across a number themes that frankly reveal, among other thing, layers of sexual identity. What is your history, briefly stated, with these motifs? For instance, the gas mask meets the underwear…these graphic realities, beautifully rendered, are designed to not only shock but to exist in a decorative space, how do you reconcile the two?
Moises: Referencing an apocalyptic outcome I’ve always been intrigued by what people would wear. It seems logical to me that not having any resources one would accept a lifestyle of unintended exhibitionism. My characters up the level, especially Pink, due to their untamed nature and unforgiving attitude.
July 2. 2010. Moises Aragon at the Hive. First Friday. 6pm. 301 Jefferson. Oakland. CA