Ruiz-Healy Art presents Jesse Amado and Alejandro Diaz: Double Pleasure in both New York and San Antonio. The exhibitions highlight Amado and Diaz's work in painting and a shared interest in post-conceptual art practices that is grounded in their Mexican American heritage and South Texas aesthetics. The New York exhibition opening reception is on January 23rd and will be on view through April 30, 2020, and the San Antonio exhibition opening is on January 29th and will be on view through March 21, 2020.
Jesse Amado and Alejandro Diaz have been friends and colleagues for the past 40 years. The artists have been in multiple shows together, and these concurrent dual exhibitions brought their work in conversation with one another for the first time in twenty-six years. While the artists demonstrate different aesthetic concerns, their work connects through the incorporation of found materials used to convey human experience and a Beuysian heritage in their social sculpture work. Exhibition catalogue writer Carla Stellweg states, “While the category of ‘Latino’ art and artists is a much-debated subject, the case of Amado and Diaz offers a highly sophisticated and eloquent view of Mexican-American and Latino visual culture at this time.”
Jesse Amado’s uses paint, wood, felt, chicharron (fried pork rinds), brass, and light as materials to expand the dimensional constraints of painting. Amado pursues color as material, a boundless pursuit that concludes with a visual language that embraces sensuality and beauty. The artist states, “ My work endorses the quality of change and how limitless and liberating it can be for an artist. Utilizing forms, images, materials, fashions, and media of human industries, I’m able to produce commentaries on the ambiguities of modern and contemporary culture and the investments that are ultimately made by society.”
Alejandro Diaz uses a bricolage approach to create paintings using found and collected objects applied to his layered canvases. These works range from pure abstraction to figuration. They reference a variety of concerns from current politics, to decorative and aesthetic movements, to spirituality. The tone of his work is at times humorous, political, celebratory, or even somber and reflective. What is evident in all of Diaz’s work is the presence of the artist’s hand and his ongoing workings of disparate materials to create a sense of personal order.