Wednesday, June 2, 2010

solo show at bluesky gallery in portland OR

ALEJANDRO CARTAGENA : "Suburbia Mexicana, Cause and Effect"

Encouraged by the Mexican government, developers in nine cities of the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Mexico, have taken advantage of the cheapest land available to construct new housing for sale to lower- and middle-income families. More than 300,000 new homes have been built in this region since 2001. Evoking traditions established by the New Topographics photographers of the 1970s and 1980s, photographer Alejandro Cartagena has in recent years been documenting this complex story of unhampered sprawl.

"Suburbia Mexicana, Cause and Effect" is comprised of five distinct parts, as seen here. Together, Cartagena’s images create a visual narrative of dramatic, wide-scale urban transformation. He captures the finished, vacant developments waiting to be inhabited, the older, deserted neighborhoods left behind, as well as the environmental impact of nearby rivers drying to a trickle to support growing populations. Through a combination of traditional landscape, abstract formalism, and documentary motifs, Cartagena invites the viewer into a montage of contemporary Mexican suburbia that is at once informative and beautiful.