about the exhibition
San Antonio, TX
February 02–April 23, 2006about the artist
Born in San Antonio and based in New York City, Alejandro Diaz uses everyday material to elaborate notions of contemporary commercial culture. Incorporating signage, glitter, cardboard, cookies, and postcards, he questions the divisions between high and low art by intermingling their conventions. In recent projects he has focused on signage and product design, two preeminent elements of contemporary popular culture. For his contribution to the Havana Biennial in 2003, Diaz played with the wildly successful marketing strategy used to advertise New York City -- "I ♥ New York"--by creating beach balls, towels, tote bags, and cards featuring the phrase "I Cuba" and handing them out for free. The piece both pointed toward the commodification of American life and explored the very different system of exchange of the island country of Cuba.
Diaz received an M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, in 1999. He has had solo projects at Sala Diaz, San Antonio, TX (2003); Jessica Murray Projects, Brooklyn, NY (2001); and Fuller Art Museum, Brockton, MA (2000). He has participated in recent group exhibitions that include Gift: Wrap and Set Boutique, Julia Friedman Gallery, New York, NY (2005); Cheap and Chic, Galeria O-Itatti, Mexico City, Mexico (2005); Open House: Working in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, NY (2004); and Fall Selections '04, The Drawing Center, New York, NY (2004). Diaz was an International Artist-in-Residence at Artpace in 1996, and co-founded Sala Diaz Gallery in San Antonio that same year.
about the exhibition
In A Can for All Seasons, Diaz turns familiar products into sculpture, crafting monumental cans of Jumex juice, Herdez corn, La Morena chilies, and Morelia chocolate in vibrant colors. The hand-painted cans are stacked like products on bodega shelves or made into planters, both associated with Latino kitchens and that culture's tradition of resourceful multiuse. Departing from Pop's interrogations of mass-produced consumer items, Diaz brings the domestic into an art context and examines the role of cultural specificity in everything from cooking to marketing.
A Can for All Seasons was originally commissioned by the Public Art Fund, New York, NY.
Previous Artpace Exhibitions
Dec 5, 1996 Alejandro Diaz