by Carolina Ponce de Leon
Primero la Caja [first the box] features 17 C-Prints, three sculptures and a few found objects by Puerto Rico-born Pablo Guardiola (b. 1978). All are new works presented as one large-scale installation.
Guardiola’s intuitive yet precise artistic practice is informed by post-conceptual art, albeit a poetic version. His artwork captures the power of evocation contained in random objects gone astray in the contemporary urban environment. Shifting between perception and representation, fact and fiction, Guardiola creates visual metaphors that intentionally blur the boundaries between the art object and the everyday environment. Playing with these contradictions, he constructs new realities that enhance the narrative potential of even the most insignificant object.
Although photography is his primary medium, Guardiola installs his photos interspersed with found objects, sculptures, and architectural elements that he places in meticulous spatial relations with one another. His sense of space reveals a sculptural approach to his photography. How does the space within the photograph relate to the space that contains it and the place that it occupies? As evidenced by the large photomural exhibited here, Guardiola controls and challenges the certainties of one’s perception by playing with placement and shifting the scale between real objects and their photographic depiction.
For this particular body of work, Guardiola took a quote by Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa as a point of departure: “There is no synthesis where there isn’t a criteria for synthesis; for the same reason that you cannot put things in a box if there is no box.” This quote reflects the more abstract side of his artistic practice. Guardiola utilizes the box and the idea of the container to create visual and conceptual conundrums. The box is simultaneously form, concept, subject, function and metaphor. However, although the theoretical dimension pervades his work, it is tightly intertwined with his fine poetic vision. Balancing this duality is at the very core of his creative process.
While every element in Guardiola’s installation is self-contained, the viewer is challenged to explore the subtle visual, formal, spatial, and geometric clues that his images and objects conceal. Viewed as a whole, the exhibition is an exploration of the poetry of chance associations, whimsy and paradox. It is a playful search for metaphors and hidden narratives. In this sense, Guardiola takes the viewer on a journey through a seemingly familiar environment, only to reveal in its minute discoveries and deceptive formal simplicity evidence of the unexpected. Look for the circle. Look for the moon. Search for the bulb. See inside the box; see outside. Open. Close. Ship. Imagine.
Carolina Ponce de León
Artist Talk - Photography as Strategy, with artists Sergio de la Torre, Felipe Dulzaides, Ana Fernandez and Pablo Guardiola.
Wednesday, January 13th at 7 p.m.
"No hay síntesis donde no hay criterio para la síntesis; por la misma razón por la que no se pueden meter cosas en una caja si no se tiene una caja". —Fernando Pessoa
“There is no synthesis where there isn’t a criteria for synthesis; for the same reason that you cannot put things in a box if there is no box” —Fernando Pessoa
Galería de la Raza is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Pablo Guardiola, that includes photography, objects, and sculptural work. The artist’s installation at Galería de la Raza will be his largest and most ambitious presentation of work thus far.
Guardiola’s work references the poetic language found in everyday objects and the power of context in the creation meaning. While composed of familiar images and everyday elements, his artistic practice is that of giving new meaning to objects through photographic metaphors. In this particular body of work, Guardiola utilizes the box and the idea of the container as a point of departure for the perception of random encounters of the everyday.
Guardiola’s practice reveals both sculptural and conceptual elements of photography. In this particular series, the fluidity between works creates a sensory exploration that evolves as the viewer walks through the gallery space and experiences the work as a large-scale installation.
Pablo Guardiola was born in Puerto Rico. He completed a B.A. in European History. At University of Puerto Rico in San Juan and an MFA in photography at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2005. He has exhibited his work at New Langton Arts, and Little Tree Gallery in San Francisco and at the San Juan Museum of Contemporary Art in Puerto Rico, among many others. This project is made possible thanks to an Individual Artist Commission (Cultural Equity Grant) from the San Francisco Arts Commission.
La Galería de la Raza se complace en anunciar la apertura de la exposición de las obras más recientes de Pablo Guardiola, las cuales incluyen fotografía, objetos y esculturas. Esta instalación del artista en Galería de la Raza será su muestra más ambiciosa hasta el la fecha.
El trabajo de Guardiola hace referencia al lenguaje poético de lo cotidiano así como a la creación de significado a partir de la contextualización. Utilizando imágenes familiares y objetos cotidianos, el artista crea nuevos significados a través de metáforas fotográficas.
En esta serie en particular, Guardiola utiliza la caja y la idea del contenedor como puntos de partida para calibrar encuentros cotidianos.
El trabajo de Guardiola revela elementos de la fotografía tanto escultóricos como conceptuales. En este trabajo, la relación de fluidez entre las piezas busca que el espectador experimente la exposición como una instalación a gran escala.
Pablo Guardiola nació en Puerto Rico. Completó un bachillerato en Historia Europea en la Universidad de Puerto Rico (San Juan) y, en el 2005, recibió un MFA en fotografía del San Francisco Art Institute. Su trabajo ha sido expuesto en New Langton Arts y Little Tree Gallery en San Francisco y en el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo en San Juan Puerto Rico, entre otros.
Este proyecto ha sido patrocinado por el Individual Artist Commission del San Francisco Arts Commission/Cultural Equity Grants.