Latex and spray enamel, graffiti remover, and collage on canvas in reclaimed plywood frame
29 x 25 x 2 in framed (73.7 x 63.5 x 5.1 cm framed)
Karlos Cárcamo’s Kase Paintings absorb and deploy materials associated with contemporary urban culture to internalize and rework the history of modernism and the formal language of abstraction. Cárcamo’s paintings take...
Karlos Cárcamo’s Kase Paintings absorb and deploy materials associated with contemporary urban culture to internalize and rework the history of modernism and the formal language of abstraction. Cárcamo’s paintings take a conceptual approach that the artist likens to the “sampling” that defines much of contemporary rap and hip-hop. By placing depreciated artistic strategies like graffiti within the context of established art historical contexts like cubism or color field expressionism, the Kase Paintings infuse recognizable compositional approaches with a reimagined sensibility. The importance of graffiti is embedded in the titles of the works themselves, which are a tribute to 1970s and 80s New York City graffiti artist Jeffrey Brown. Incorporating found materials, notably in the frames, which often bear scorch prints or other marks indicating a complex, multivariate history, Cárcamo’s finished works hew to the restrained aesthetics of mid-century modernist works by Lucio Fontana or Robert Ryman. Throughout the Kase Paintings, Cárcamo uses elements of removal, collage, spray paint, and other conceptual or industrial strategies to create objects whose formalist sophistication invites a subtler engagement with value and process. By inviting in practices and materials that are typically perceived as less valuable, Cárcamo’s deceptively minimal, visually refined paintings invite a reconsideration of material, formal, and art historical hierarchies.