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Material Collaborations: Mindy Solomon Gallery presents the work of David Hicks & Alejandro Contreras
David Hicks, Still Life (Blue Bloom), 2014. 23 x 24 x 23 inches. Ceramic and steel.
MIAMI, FL.- Mindy Solomon Gallery presents ‘Material Collaborations: David Hicks & Alejandro Contreras,’ August 1st-September 12th at 172 NW 24th St. in the Wynwood Art District, Miami. The two artists featured in the exhibition have a profound interest in exploring and exploiting two and three dimensional surfaces.

Alejandro Contreras is an artistic innovator, exploring the myriad opportunities that are afforded through the digital world. Most recently, he has been experimenting with the interconnection between photographic imagery and interpretive drawing. The drawings appear to be a multi-colored linear abstractions, when in fact they are a derivation of carefully considered representative images that are then transmitted through a computer using a seismic-like graphing technique. Contreras also works with polymer resin. He utilizes resin in a multitude of applications. In some of his two-dimensional works, he applies resin like paint. He builds surfaces with mixed media, such as powdered pigments, vinyl sheeting, aluminum, and other found materials. The resin becomes a connective tissue of sorts—binding layers and textures to a unified whole.

In his own words, the artist says of his work, "My art consists of abstract compositions that stem out of images of patterns mostly found in nature. Photographs are processed into mechanical drawings that are then transformed through the use of vinyl, paint, glue, resin, wood, found materials, and even recycled artwork. The process begins with digital photographs that are turned into outline drawings. Adapted plotter machines and advanced computer software are used to transfer these patterns onto flat surfaces. The outcome varies depending on the vinyl shapes and ink marks. Different effects can be achieved by varying the order of colors, thickness, and pressures. In some cases, sections of the drawing are layered with the use of epoxy resins. This process creates the illusion of depth and allows experimentation. It is also the turning point where two-dimensional pieces turn into three-dimensional works." Contreras explains that his method allows for constant experimentation, in which multiple effects can be achieved by adjusting the variables. His generative form of artmaking was set in motion by curiosity, but, "has stimulated a newfound appreciation for serendipity."

David Hicks utilizes texture, color, and form to create his ceramic sculptures. He cites the interaction of touch and material as a conversation being carried out in the studio—attempting to recreate his surroundings through a language of material and hand. Rooted in an attraction to agriculture, the shapes and themes Hicks references can be found in the fields surrounding his home: they may be seen "hanging from trees, buried in the dirt, or rusting in the shed" before finding their way into his works. These organic and sometimes mechanical forms speak to human experience, as in the agricultural world there are cycles and struggles that start with fertilization, move through growth, and finally end in decay. The rawness in the formal nature of organic elements has the ability to speak a universal language, which Hicks engages in his sculpture—a language of origin, form, and beauty.

Hicks says about his work: "I collect things. Sometimes these things are random items, and sometimes they are things that have a connection to an experience. I find it almost impossible to go the ocean without bringing home a stone that has a shape or color that I respond to, or a stick that has some insinuating form. These object become memories and triggers to thoughts. They are not necessarily connected to the event or location where I discovered them, but rather, they provide a trigger that stimulates an emotion or pathway to a thought. These thoughts take me places; they disconnect me from the present and take me elsewhere. The work I’m making is in response to my natural reaction to objects I collect. I’m producing items that take me away in thought—creating questions about the origin of a form and the referenced object. When presented as a collection or group, they communicate with each other in formal conversations about density, obscurity, and formal design. It is this conversation between the objects themselves and the viewers that I work toward. Just like my reaction to the objects I discover as I stumble through life, my work acts as a mirror to these experiences and interactions with form, color, and thought."





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August 1, 2014

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