Aldo Menéndez (Cienfuegos, Cuba, 1948), is a collaborator of images that creates a pictorial narrative. Coming from a country rich in culture and history, it is not surprising that someone with an artistic intuition wouldn’t use the tools handed or taken away from them. His work deals with the pros, cons, and the drastic change of history in recent years.
“ Retratos En Chino”, is a show with works by Aldo that deal with the connotations of something being foreign. Being something that is foreign could be perceived as confusing, as he states “like reading something in Chinese”, given the name to his series “Retratos En Chino”, which gave birth to the show. The confusion is about our time and the combination of the new and old, which give effortless communication between the concept and the medium.
Collage itself has a prevalent touch on art history, but the images pasted together by Aldo have a clear comment on the history of art. Mixing images from different periods into the contemporary, this process is comparable to how new traditions bind with old traditions. Aldo’s work rate and process could also be seen as a comment on industrialization; Scanned collages printed onto canvas, fast production, that is later hand embellished with paint to create detail, a non-mass produced feel and depth. Along with this, his work has themes of violence, sex, gender roles, and architecture.
Aldo, being born in the late 40’s, has seen some of the most important movements of modern art in real-time, which gives him the ability to accurately use devices of pop, abstraction, photography and print. Given his age, Aldo’s work has a presence of someone that is fresh into the art game. Some of the images he chooses to collage are questionable (given him being 70 years old), but age is just a number and he is able to intertwine images using new techniques of digital artistry.
This show has over 80 pieces, all scanned collages printed onto canvas, blending into each other to created one collaged narrative.