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Alejandro Almanza Pereda Strikes A Balance

November 13, 2013

How does a sculptor keep his work from toppling over? Installing new work in Brooklyn, New York, and Mexico City, artist Alejandro Almanza Pereda discusses the process and ideas behind his finely balanced sculptural works. At Storefront Ten Eyck Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Almanza drills holes into an unexpected array of found objects, including a bowling ball, a plaster bust, and a lava rock. Almanza and his artist friends carefully suspend and connect these objects with dowels and fluorescent tubes, creating a delicate sculptural network. Almanza explains that this improvised “common sense” engineering is inspired by the kinds of ad hoc, temporary fixes that construction crews make on the streets of Mexico and the United States.

At Museo Experimental El Eco in Mexico City, Mexico, Almanz builds At the palace in the air at 4 am (2013) out of pre-fabricated industrial shelving. Instead of the typical rows of uniform shelves, Almanza creates a jungle gym-like construction of vertical and horizontal planes that hold decidedly non-industrial, domestic objects like trophies and suitcases. Culled from flea markets and sidewalk sales, these objects evoke Almanza’s childhood, a time “when you learn how to deal with objects and materials around you” and begin to understand their fragility and value.

More information and credits

Featuring the works Sticks and Stones (2013), Sticks & Stones No. 3 (2013), and At the palace in the air at 4 am (2013). Including the songs “fiesta en mi barrio” by Scappare di Casa, and “Dicen (con Nubla)” and “Fata Morgana (con Lucrecia Dalt)” by Los Amparito.


Art21 New York Close Up Created & Produced by: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Editor: Rafael Salazar & Ava Wiland. Cinematography: Don Edler, José Pablo Escamilla, Ian Forster, Amitabh Joshi, Daniel Loustaunau & Nick Ravich. Sound: Stephanie Andreou, José Pablo Escamilla, Scott Fernjack, Daniel Loustaunau, Nick Ravich & Erik Spink. Associate Producer: Ian Forster. Design & Graphics: Open. Artwork: Alejandro Almanza Pereda. Music: Los Amparito & Scappare di Casa. Thanks: Erik Benson, Deborah Brown, Museo Experimental El Eco, Esperanza Mayobre, Claudia Peña, Diego Pérez, Paola Santoscoy, Storefront Ten Eyck, Frank Webster, Letha Wilson & Alfonso Zárate. An Art21 Workshop Production. © Art21, Inc. 2013. All rights reserved.

Art21 New York Close Up is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Lambent Foundation; Toby Devan Lewis; the Dedalus Foundation, Inc., The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and by individual contributors.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Alejandro Almanza Pereda

Alejandro Almanza Pereda was born in 1977 in Mexico City. He formerly worked in New York, and currently lives and works between the United States and Mexico, maintaining his practice in both locales. Searching out vintage objects in flea markets and thrift stores, Almanza Pereda integrates mundane materials into large-scale sculptures that challenge both the durability of the objects and his ability to create a stable structure. Finding inspiration in the objects he selects, Almanza Pereda eschews narrative and prefers to focus on materiality.

“I’m concerned about making my work, and not having fun. That’s a really big issue for me. Sometimes art can be so boring…”

Alejandro Almanza Pereda