a story that unfolds inside another story that...
Compositions of rich image density in bright confident colours might be one way to sum up the works of the Peruvian artist. He has resided in Rio de Janeiro for the past two years and is soaking up local street art, the culture and vibes of his new habitat. Being no stranger to the international art scene, the artist has exhibited as far afield as Germany, France, USA and Canada. From the two epicentres of Lima and Rio de Janeiro, some would call his art ‘off the wall’. But is very much ‘on the wall’. For instance, his art is part of the permanent exhibition at the Museum of the Americas in Florida. In addition, he has been collected by Hochschild Sayago & Pardon of California.
Alejandro Saavedra Solano is a self-confessed magpie of all things visual and that abundantly translate into his art. It goes some way to explain why his work is so arresting and demand examination from the viewer. The rest is sheer talent in combining it all, not to mention some hard grafting.
The viewer is an important collaborator in this “reading”, joining the pieces, to say the images, and creating their own interpretation. That’s why I appreciate that the message is not entirely clear.
Once we have got that one on board, Saavedra adds that it is similar to one other vehicle for bringing ideas across: The comic book.
The ol’ comic requires not only our surrender to its format but also our participation to join one box to the next sequentially. Along the way you are hit by surprises, and send down dead ends later to return to what you hope is the main narrative strand.
Enter the not-so-non-fictional world of Alejandro Saavedra
The artist cunningly points out that his art is reality albeit a fictional one. It resonates with 90s virtual reality specialists who claimed that their main pursuit was a tautology of sorts. They purported that ‘virtual reality’ IS or WAS reality. It amounted to a man-made reality nested within another reality that was equally subjective, except that popular perceptions of the latter were being negotiated more in public.
Anyhow, we emerge in a parallel universe where deliberately fictional and cartoonish representation are being blended together with fragments of the hyper-real; as soon strung together by our non-sequential mind in a kind of dreamscape.
Animalised humans and humanised animals
In retrospect, much of Saavedra’s production includes animal depictions. Call it part of his autograph style if you will. The certain fondness for including animals and humans interchangeably adds some wonderful spice to it all. The perhaps oversimplified traits of animals can be transferred to the humans and vice versa. Indeed, for all we are as humans we often choose to forget our own biological determinism as an animal species.
Alejandro Saavedra’s works across media and has an illustration and graphic design practice. But he totally immerses himself in painting on canvas. Often enough he does no sketching and begins painting on blank medium straight away.
More about the artist
Alejandro Saavedra was born in 1978 in Lima, Peru. He holds a Bachelor Degree in ﬁne arts. Currently he is studying photography, and he has three years of experience working as an art director at a marketing agency. Along the way he has become professor at the Editorial College of Illustration Design and Communication ISIL.
You can contact the artist or find out more by visiting www.alesaavedra.com