Alejandro Plaza (Caracas, Venezuela, 1989) submerges the viewer within the vibration and the speed of a hybrid art in which the categories that established demarcations between different cultural references in the 20th century have exploded. In his Post Neo-Pop work, these categories configure themselves into a narrative that shifts with impunity from the graphic signs of advertising posters to the genre of portraits in painting, and inserts echoes of geometric abstraction amid vertiginous fragments of multiple iconographies. Plaza appropriates the visual heritage of Disney’s characters; the figures of Marilyn, Madonna, and Michael Jackson; the echoes of the Japanese television series; the perceptive effects of Venezuelan kinetic art; the references to Andy Warhol or Lichtenstein among a myriad of allusions that he explores with the freedom of a generation formed within the highest paroxysm of the cultural industry.
Far beyond the matrixes of popular culture and the graphic representation in advertising that nourished the Pop art of the 1960s Plaza transplants kinetic stripes to utilitarian three-dimensional objects such as a luxurious Porsche, or a Steinway & Sons grand piano on which his musical compositions composes by combining, in a "signature seal," sounds that contain echoes from Bob Marley's Reggae to rock from the 80s and 90s.
Plaza celebrates the Pop art that elevated advertising to the status of a cult iconography. The Warholian Marilyn gave rise in 2011 to a character that was fundamental for him: Agatha Rose. As slender as rebellious, with a certain air of counterculture, she slightly evokes the outdated philosophies of the underground. One of the vignettes that repeat her face on the painting, So Warhol, so Rose, highlights the intense pink of her lips.
As of 2012, the feminine lips generated their own reiterative universe: They became a nomadic mouth capable of devouring all references. In Candy Lips, the lips half open from the background of stripes in plain and intense colors, and in Lond-York, the allusion to the two cities that marked the beat of the products of the international market, is represented by the lips painted with the symbols and colors of the United States’ flag. On these pieces, there already appears, as a first extension of what will give shape to a face, the figure of a black circle that can be read in two ways: The shape of the ear –an indisputable appropriation of Mickey Mouse’s ear– is at the same time a record, and a tempting eye that complements the lips. These become half-open as a symbol of the omnivorous world that surrounds them: Highways, urban buildings, billboards, and slogans of global franchises like Coca-Cola or Starbucks. It is a giant mouth -capable of containing the paroxysm of Times Square, and serving as a dance hall for Michael Jackson- which gradually devours the world, and then appears with the two ear-records and hands that reproduce those of Mickey Mouse. The fusion between Agatha Rose and that omnivorous mouth gave rise to Agatha Mouse. Rebellious in her own way, she has an unruly character, she settled in some non-place in the metropolis with her gigantic and noisy radio, playing music full blast.
As the artist himself points out, his obsession with the mouths not only contains a key to “sensuality as a form of happiness,” but also an allusion to the local situation in Caracas, where dialogue has gradually become a fiction that is not a happy one, and where the possibilities for communication have gradually been reduced. In the midst of media saturation, Alejandro Plaza, a member of a generation born after the end of the social utopias, creates works posterior to surrealism, pop art, neo-Pop, and kinetic art; as a way of escaping the darkness of the world, and conveying his vision of a ticket to a certain imaginary of happiness.
Adriana Herrera Tellez, Ph.D.
2011 – Illustrator. Design Institute of Caracas (IDC). Caracas, Venezuela.
2008 – Post-secondary studies. Varde Gymnasium. Varde, Denmark.
2015 – “Imaginarium”. Canale Diaz Art Center. Miami, USA.
2012 – “Bocetos y algo más” (Sketches and more). Yantares. Caracas, Venezuela.
2011 – “Inicios” (Beginnings). Yantares. Caracas, Venezuela.
2016 – "PopMatters." Canale Diaz Art Center. Miami, USA.
2016 – Benefit auction for the Child’s Protection Foundation (FUNDANA). Caracas, Venezuela.
2016 – “Untitled.” Arte Innovador Gallery. Caracas, Venezuela.
2016 – “Abriendo Caminos (Opening Paths).” Arte Innovador Gallery. Caracas, Venezuela.
2015 – "Wings of hope" Fashion show, a benefit auction for Alas Solidarias. Canale Diaz Art Center. Miami, USA.
2015 – Benefit auction for the Child’s Protection Foundation (FUNDANA). Caracas, Venezuela.
2015 – “Consequences”. Canale Diaz Art Center. Miami, USA.
2015 – Golden Globe Awards. Viewing Party Auction. Miami, USA.
2014 – “El arte a beneficio de la vida de un niño” (Art for the benefit of a child’s life). Benefit auction for the Child’s Protection Foundation (FUNDANA). Caracas, Venezuela.
2014 – “Juegos” (Games). Artists for Peace. Arte Innovador Gallery. Caracas, Venezuela.
2014 – Art Shopping Fair. Art Center Miami. Carrousel du Louvre. Paris, France.
2014 – “Ro-dando”. A benefit exhibition for “Buena Voluntad” civil association. Arte Innovador Gallery. Caracas, Venezuela.
2014 – “Sweet Summer”. Art Center Wynwood. Miami, USA.
2014 – Collective Exhibition. Leon Bank. Santiago, Dominican Republic.
2014 – “De corazón” (From the heart). Artists for Peace. Arte Innovador Gallery. Caracas, Venezuela.
2014 – “Special Needs Art Exhibition”. Exhibit in support to Atlantis Academy and Autism & related disabilities awareness. Art Center Wynwood. Miami, USA.
2013 – “Expo Minimo” (Expo Minimum). Ipiar Tumerem Cultural Foundation. Caracas, Venezuela.
2013 – Maracaibo International Art Fair. Arte Innovador Gallery. Maracaibo, Venezuela.
2013 – Benefit auction for the Child’s Protection Foundation (FUNDANA). Caracas, Venezuela.
2009 – Collective Exhibition. Varde Gymnasium. Varde, Denmark.
2007 – Collective Exhibition. Varde Gymnasium. Varde, Denmark.