Jairo Alfonso

New Jersey

March 4-25, 2019

Sponsored by Jorge M Pérez Family Foundation

Artist Statement

Throughout my career, I have been interested in exploring material culture from an archaeological perspective, particularly the multilayered nature of objects, their history and symbolism, in paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, performances, and mixed media works on paper.

More recently, I have started developing a new body of work, reflecting on the relationship we, as human beings, establish with the objects we create, use, and discard. I explore two forms of relationships: hoarding and disassembling.

I address hoarding as “horror vacui” drawings. These works depicts accumulations of objects, devices and accessories from everyday life, piled up, and drawn closely together, so as to flood the pictorial space. Each object is represented life-size. Hoarding as clear sign of consumerism informs this series. I pair the act of drawing with that of consuming goods, which is why I pack these metaphorical boxes with objects of every kind. The title of the works indicate the number of objects drawn in it.

As for the dissasembling series, I focus on a single object which function is that of offering audio or visual information (radios, cameras, tvs, etc…), and the act of dismantle it becomes an anatomic lesson of sorts, which allows the viewer to metaphorical immerse themselves into a new world composed by the history, epoch, ideology, materials and shapes hidden in these artifacts.

Therefore from my bidimensional works I usually extract the objects that become subjects of my videos, characterized by the use of the stop-motion animation.


Jairo Alfonso is a Cuban artist living and working in New Jersey. He graduated from the Higher Institute of Art (ISA) in Havana. Alfonso has been featured in more than ten solo exhibitions worldwide and in over 60 group shows. His works have been part of important shows, such as A sense of Place. Selections from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection. Mana Wynwood Convention Center, Miami, Florida.(2015); Flow: Economies of the Look and Creativity in Contemporary Art from the Caribbean, Washington DC (2014); Cuban America: An Empire State of Mind, Lehmann College Art Gallery, New York (2014); Occupying, Building, Thinking: Poetic and Discursive Perspectives on Contemporary Cuban Video Art (1990-2010), Contemporary Art Museum  (USF) Tampa (2013); Politics: I don't like it, but it likes me, Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdanks (2013); Killing Time: An exhibition of Cuban artists from the 80s to the present, Exit Art, New York (2007);  Batiscafo/ Proyecto Circo. 8 Bienal do Mercosul. Ensaios de Geopoética, Porto Alegre (2011); Instrumentaciones (Solo show) at Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana (2000), to name a few. His upcoming projects include the group exhibition Useless: Machines for Dreaming, Thinking and Seeing at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York.

In 2015 he was artist in residence at the Marble House Project, Vermont, and in 2014 he was granted a residency by the STAR program at Guttenberg Arts, New Jersey. He has recently received a Grant from the Pollock- Krasner Foundation.

His work is part of Perez Art Museum Miami; the Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles; the Permanent Collection of the Province of Hainaut; the Havana Galerie Collection, Zürich, among others.

Artist Links

Website: http://www.jairoalfonso.net

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jairo.alfonso