Flux Exchange: Alexandre Arrechea
Alexandre Arrechea received a B.F.A. from Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA), Havana, Cuba in 1994. As a founding member (from 1991 through 2003) of the Cuban artist collective Los Carpinteros, his work employs visual metaphors for ongoing social themes of inequality, cultural disenfranchisement, and the disputed position of art in a global, media driven society. Suffused with humor and levity, Arrechea’s work often reveals the powerful potential of artistic intervention to shock us out of our blasé acceptance of everyday submission.
Since returning to his individual practice, he focuses on large-scale sculptures and installations that interrogate the interconnectedness of urban design with systems of power and surveillance, first drafted in watercolors. His practice includes installation, painting, and the use of what he considers as objects with “elements of truth” – this last category has included found remnants of places, such as debris, fragments of walls, and measuring tape. He is best known for monumental public projects including NOLIMITS (2013), a grouping of ten sculptures on Park Avenue that playfully riff on iconic New York City landmark buildings. The process of completing the Park Avenue sculpture project was filmed for the 2013 documentary entitled No Limits.
In 2015, he won Artist of the Year Award by the Howard and Patricia Farber Foundation in Havana, Cuba, during the 12th Bienal de Havana. In 2008 he was commissioned to make a public sculpture for inclusion in the Pospect.1 New Orleans biennial, and his most recent outdoor sculpture was commissioned for The Coachella Valley Music and Arts in Palm Springs, CA, in 2016. Arrechea has had individual exhibitions at institutions such as Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana; MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); and the New Museum in New York. Arrechea was born in Trinidad, Cuba, and currently lives and works in Miami and New York.