Beyond Technique: John J. Bedoya
Fernando Luis Alvarez brings one of Colombia’s rising stars in contemporary art to America on September 9th

STAMFORD, CT –  August 10, 2011 –  Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery eagerly announces its upcoming solo exhibition, “Beyond Technique: John J. Bedoya.” The show will be Bedoya’s first-ever solo exhibition in the United States.  A reception for the exhibit will be on Friday, September 9th from 6 to 9pm.

With his large format works made of ash, earth, and sand, burnt-down forests and muck-filled puddles bulge forth from the canvas.  Bedoya’s mixed-earth media, large-format images evoke a world filled with beauty in strange places.  Forest floors and muddy ditches are transformed into otherworldly realms.  There is something alien yet entirely familiar about the terrain he creates on each canvas.  However, in actuality, Bedoya is depicting the currently existing realities of deforestation and pollution.  His art stands like silent totems, conveying its message through powerful imagery that does not rely on metaphor and suggestion to produce meaning. 

“My work is not only symbolic, but corporeal; it is a work of gestures,” the artists states.  “What you see is what you touch.  Earth, sand, pots, knives, plates, soles, coal, and acrylics are turned into a landscape signaling an expression by spreading, throwing, spoiling, and plowing these materials on canvas.”

Bedoya’s method creates a tangible and organic experience for the viewer, who can make out the paths and lines of the artist’s hands as he encounters his mediums.  His work becomes a bodily effort, with the artist endangering himself by breathing in the ash and dust that make up his mediums as he works over each image.  There is no glazing, no polishing, no airbrushing the roughness out of existence.  Instead, the grit and dirt and crags of each canvas intimates the on-looker with the artist.

Bedoya’s work has been lauded as “full of eloquence” in an article by elite Colombian art critic and scholar Efrén Giraldo.  In 2012, a book titled Arquitecturas de la Imagen by Eduardo Serrano featuring Colombia’s 20 most influential contemporary artists will be published with a section entirely dedicated to Bedoya’s work.  Serrano refers to Bedoya’s work as “produc[ing] an acid social and cultural commentary in its direct references to the assault on nature.”

“When a work shakes you to your very core, moves you to stare in a moment of awe, you have found your art and the artist has found his collector,” Alvarez states of Bedoya’s work.  “His work is moving, breath-taking, and powerful.  Each image is raw and organic, you can see the artist’s imprint as he works-over the canvas.  It draws you forth and allows you to commune more authentically with the piece.”

“We are honored not only to exclusively represent Bedoya in the U.S, but are proud to announce that he will be an artist-in-residence for our Sprouting Spaces program.  For six months, Bedoya will have a studio in one of Stamford’s commercial vacancies made available by Stamford Downtown, where he will create his pieces, allowing the public to come watch the artist at work.”

Alvarez was born in Greenwich, CT, but raised in Medellin, Colombia until age 12.  He is long on Latin America as an epicenter for art, talent, and business.  “This exhibition is another exciting opportunity where we are able to deliver on the promise I’ve made to my loyal collectors and the community: that the Gallery will bring to Stamford the most innovative and ground-breaking emerging artists out there,” he explains.   “Like in value-investing, it takes a special eye and sound model to make the appropriate selections.  Otherwise, you could lose your shirt.  True artists like Bedoya pursue their passion relentlessly and habitually, and have made incredible monetary and personal sacrifices to become the talent they are today.  So, since the very beginning, we are a partnership of equals.” 

Alvarez’s track record of ground-breaking art shows is renowned in the surrounding area.  Most recently, a new art initiative and gallery opening in Stamford, Franklin Street Works, released that they would title their inaugural exhibition Fernando, after Alvarez.  Curator for FSW, Terri Smith, explains that “when [she] and the artists mentioned contemporary art [in Stamford], inevitably, someone would say, ‘Have you met Fernando?’” 

A reception for “Beyond Technique: John J. Bedoya” will take place on Friday, September 9th, from 6 to 9 pm.  The Gallery will be throwing one of its legendary parties that night, open to the public.  Collectors may RSVP to a private viewing on September 8th by contacting Rebecca Hansen at 888-861-6791, ext. 6, or rhansen@flalvarezgallery.com.