August 14th – August 20th, 2017 | Reception August 16th 6:00-8:00 PM
Pictured: “Alphabet Boxers”
Born in 1972 in Santa Fé, Argentina, Alejandro Caiazza has Italian roots and was raised in Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela. He was trained in architecture and fine arts at the Jose Maria Vargas University in Caracas, Venezuela. His first solo art gallery exhibition was in April 1999 at the Sala de Arte de Sidor in Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela. In 2000, Caiazza moved to Paris, living and working there for 10 years. He spent a period studying at L’École Supérieure Des Beaux-Arts in Paris, attending courses taught by his teacher and mentor, Ouanes Amor.
In 2010, he developed his own universal language through the mixture of various traces, signs, figures, and colors, thus communicating feelings and sensations known to all. By the end of the year, he exhibited at the Lavatoio Contumatiale in Rome.
Caiazza currently works and resides in New York City. He continues creating extraordinary pieces that reflect the artist’s emotions, as well as those who live in the city. In his most recent work, he demonstrates a strong passion for American pop culture, embracing traditional forms expressed in primary colors, and sometimes adopting a ‘naive’ technique.
Alejandro creates paintings that are whimsical and delightful at first glance, but often there is a deeper, darker side to his work. He creates elementary and childish figures, even sometimes crude, inspired by the drawings of children, which often include criminals, skulls, clowns, and madmen. These silly, wacky characters, lurid and subhuman, are deformed, absurd, and grotesque. Many of the paintings are inspired by human emotions and daily life.
Caiazza uses acrylic, oil bar, charcoal, and spray paint, and likes to experiment with mixed media on cardboard, canvas, and wood. His style can be considered “art brut” or “neoexpressionist,” with influences such as Jean Dubuffet, Jonathan Meese, Georg Baselitz, William de Kooning, Jean Michel Basquiat, and A.R. Penk.
The painter Alejandro Caiazza, born in Argentina and educated in
Venezuela, needed a universal language. After moving to Paris
seventeen years ago, he studied at the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts,
showed his paintings in Rome, and finally found himself in New York
City, where he now lives. To meet him is to confront a wall of
assumptions about how people communicate. You might say hello to
him in Italian and email him in Spanish. But for now, he seems content
to let the strange human figures in his paintings speak for him.
Caiazza’s paintings are noisy. The thick paint and the visual fizzing and
popping of the surfaces evoke the sensation of watching people on a
staticky TV. These works are primitive in the manner of Dubuffet,
Penck, and even Klee, although his surfaces are not the same. They don’t
need explanations, but they do evoke a sense of childish play, of
grappling with moods that seem inappropriate for adults. The figures
seem to have drawn themselves, regarding their viewers with wide eyes
and smeared mouths. If these boys and girls could talk, they might
screech or gurgle, but they’d keep their eyes on you.
Here in New York, so many inhabitants are forced to display ourselves
as objects of our own creation. The trick in painting is to establish the
agreement between the subject and the viewer. Caiazza, in accepting the
challenge of pure painting, has painstakingly made these characters and
then stepped out of the way. He’s nowhere in these paintings and at the
same time he’s everywhere—without ego, without self-importance,
without proselytizing. This is a different kind of achievement from the
efforts of adults who merely wish to be children. In fact, it’s not the
same thing at all.
Art can be quiet, insistent, needling, and numbing. The evident
intentions of artists, speaking without words, sometimes drone in a
viewer’s ear. These paintings are as rude and loud as a donkey’s bray,
yet they’re made with love by a skilled technician. And it’s in the skill that these paintings make their presence felt. They tune themselves to a
viewer’s psyche, and fill the void between mind and object with
something closer to the true nature of communication than the written