Every city has its gems, hidden charms, small details people remember, sometimes even better than the big landmarks they see. We hardly ever wonder about the jewelers who imagine and create these gems, presuming the marks have been there since ever. One of those creators of the surreal, the magician who roams the streets conjuring up small images we keep reminiscing long after is Pablo Delgado, a Mexican visual artist, currently based in London.
After scattering the alluring miniatures around the city, the artist is preparing an exhibition at Howard Griffin gallery in May. The upcoming show by Delgado will embody the novel principle of conceptual-meets-street art represented by a large-scale installation. Even Less is the title of the exhibition, evoking the artist’s continuing practice of reducing figures to a miniature scale. This, the most prominent, characteristic of Delgado’s artwork displays his obsession with negative space, standing as the denouncing reaction to global consumerism, while it became the cardinal, constantly repeated, stylistic trait of the artist.
New and progressive, HG gallery is proving to be an amazingly original exhibition platform with each show. Pablo Delgado’s spatial installation continues the tradition established with Phlegm and Thierry Noir installations, being possibly the most ambitious project of the sort.
The upper level of Howard Griffin gallery will be divided into two separate sections, one constructed within the other. Both of them will contain curated Delgado’s work, exploring the relations between negative and positive space as the main topic. The installation will emphasize the phenomenon of absence in order to provide new and deeper meaning to the aspect of presence.
It will feature a new collection of images gathered and remade by the artist, arranged in order to weave particular narratives, while unveiling layers of meaning when observed more closely. Various things and figures coming from different sources are arranged in particular ways, raising questions about repetition, emulation, prosperity and ephemeral qualities. Stripped of excess color, scarce bright accents direct the attention of the observer to key fragments in the scene, while delivering a grim and pessimistic message.
While Delgado’s studio work will be on display at Howard Griffin gallery space, his body of work extends throughout the urban landscape of London. Even Less concepts are executed simultaneously on the streets, which makes this exhibition a part of the environment, or vice versa.
We look forward to viewing the final installation of Pablo Delgado’s exhibition, opening on May 15 and running through June 8, 2014.
Over the past several years, Delgado gathered a determined group of followers in East London, who thrive on his miniature pieces. He is known for extracting popular and familiar images from the mainstream culture, which he then positions in new, unexpected, surreal scenes. The resulting depictions exude singular humor and irony, while participating in a larger story, always related to the location they are pasted on.
When he pastes his work on the wall, Delgado vitalizes it by adding elaborate shadows, thus providing the third dimension and a stunning lifelike effect.
One of the most appealing catches of Delgado’s work is that it is often hidden from sight. It needs to be sought after, which adds to its conceptual quality. Once found, it becomes clear how much stronger these tiny pictures are than the large, empty wall spaces they are on, while the London landscape turns into a negative, supporting only the focal image, no matter how small. Pablo Delgado’s pasted street art is in direct function of his contemplation upon negative space and its contextual characteristics.
Photo credit: Marcus Peel