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Jacobo Alonso – The Mexican Artist as Ambassador

“..that first impression, the revelation of experiencing the art, is how the artist connects us to something that transcends the limits of language, words and location.”

To come across something unusual and new—It’s exciting! Food, art, fashion, it’s increasingly hard to find anything with a fresh perspective. Every so often though, you turn a corner, bored by uninspired gimmicks and plays on the latest trend, only to be surprised by something that grabs your attention and manipulates it in ways that are thought provoking long after. The work of Jacobo Alonso, presented by Building Bridges Art Exchange, is weirdly engaging, unlike anything I’ve seen before, and brings up a lot of questions.

Is HOW we experience art integral to how much we like it, and do we have to know what inspired the work? Do the surroundings make the piece more or less impactful? Alonso’s work at the LA Art Show was arresting for the lack of surface gloss, polish and color. One long swath of paper, imperfect, curling at the edges, swaying slightly as people passed, and seeming to be in the midst of active disintegration, stood out for a degree of quiet broodiness that was the antithesis of most offerings at this show (which trended toward heavy applications of glitter and splashes of pink). The pigment used is sooty and dark, it’s not obvious WHAT it is, so you draw closer, curious. The perforations and shapes created by the play of positive and negative space are organic and reminiscent of—movement, growth, decay—a figure? Yes, something about the shape of the dark mass is sensual, figurative, but how this color was applied, through what process, was still unknown. It got me thinking of Dante’s Inferno, of fire and swirling smoke, when I realize that within the dark is the impression of a body – kneeling? Whoa. Time to step back and find out more about this one.