Upon entering Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia’s show, I was greeted with an unassuming vibe being reflected and refracted off the surfaces of his work. Hung with metal clips by the steel wire, these mosaics of myriad colors were modest in their presence. Nothing was flashy but everything was extraordinarily intricate, extremely laborious, and singularly determined. It took me a while to fish for the term that would conveniently categorize his signature Papel tejido pieces. Made with numerous strips of painted papers woven together in a grid manner, countless criss-crossings sometimes form a recognizable scene or familiar symbols, other times exquisite patterns, and at times what appears to be an analog version of a pixel art. They were sculptural, painterly, crafty, cultural, religious, symbolic, folk-y, and home-y. But I didn’t quite know if they were sculptures, paintings, installations, crafts, collages, decorations, or something else. Here’s what I think of them now. They are all of the above. Segovia is having his cake and eating it, too.
Installation view of Papel tejido in Mis Papels at Vincent Price Art Museum (Los Angeles, CA).
Gleefully refusing to be typecast as one medium or the other, Segovia’s work is benevolently subversive and never overtly confrontational. His painted strips colorfully and playfully question the process and meaning of abstraction. His weaving meticulously and preciously blurs the boundaries between painting and painted objects. His double-sided surfaces cheerfully suggest the sculptural possibility. His Mexican cultural roots positively influence the artist and propose an alternative aesthetic sensibility (as opposed to those of the Western traditions taught in our schools) to be considered seriously as part of artistic conversations.
Installation view of Papel tejido in Mis Papels (front).
Installation view of Papel tejido in Mis Papels (back).
These are not new conversations per se, but Segovia is among the willing and active participants who are adding interesting cultural vocabularies to the larger dialogue of contemporary art, here in the city of angels, now in 2015. And at that, he is brilliantly prolific.
His first survey show, Mis Papels, is currently on view at Vincent Price Art Museum in Los Angeles. I bet you will get a kick out of his wide-ranging repertoire, including a painting and documentary project, titled Segundas, which challenges the gallery commerce system by throwing thrift store transactions into the mix. If you are in town, the show is not to be missed. Have all the cakes Lorenzo has to offer and eat ‘em too. He is.
Installation view of Segundas in Mis Papels.
Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia is a Los Angeles-based artist. Originally from Mexico, he received MFA from Otis College of Arts and Design. He is represented by CB1 Gallery (Los Angeles, CA, www.cb1gallery.com). He is also an Associate Professor of Illustration at Otis. Explore his wide-ranging work on his website at www.hurtadosegovia.com.
You can find more information about Vince Price Art Museum and their exhibits, including Segovia’s survey, at their website vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
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