COLLAGE ON VIEW
Installation at the Schaffer Library at Union College
in Schenectady, New York, USA
April 2019-Fall 2020
Embracing the concept of the library as a laboratory, the Mandeville Gallery and the Schaffer Library at Union College annually present the Art Installation Series in an effort to shift the visual arts from a gallery setting into a public space.
Juan Hinojosa is the sixth featured artist in the Art Installation Series. Hinojosa finds inspiration from the glamour of fashion magazines, television, and the lifestyle associated with New York City, but he questions our desires to be part of this world. He collects discarded items such as magazines, advertisements, postcards, and toys to arrange and play with, as a painter might arrange colour with paint. Hinojosa then uses these found objects to create what appear to be symmetrical compositions, although because he prefers not to alter or reproduce any of his collage material, they are, in fact, often asymmetrical in both his small collages and larger wall installations.
Hinojosa has held residencies at the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson), Materials for the Arts (Queens, New York), and was a guest artist at the Socrates Sculpture Park (New York City). In 2016 and 2019, he was awarded a New Work Grant from the Queens Council on the Arts. Recent exhibitions in New York City include “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself” at the Cigar Factory, “ARENA” at Wrap Around 12, and “Back to Black” at Stout Projects (Brooklyn). He received his BFA from Parsons School of Design. Hinojosa lives and works in Queens, New York.
The artist says about himself and the work:
As the first-born child of two Peruvian immigrants living in Queens, New York, I became absolutely obsessed with all aspects of American culture. The desire to have more than we could afford became a constant struggle for me. This led to my obsession with collecting everything I could get my hands on, which evolved into my current artistic practice: I crisscross the city, accumulating discarded, readymade items and scavenging pieces of trash, in order to repurpose these materials for collages and site-specific installations. Constructing art exclusively with found objects has changed the way I look at my own trash and the trash around me. Much like the methods used by my Peruvian ancestors before me, I am using my surrounding “environment” as raw material to create something new.
Identifying as a “green artist,” I feel that I have a responsibility to reduce my waste and the waste in my community, and I accomplish this by turning debris and cast-off materials into art. Each object retains its unique value, in the state and condition it was discovered in, and I do not duplicate them in any way. I mix high-end products with low-end goods, mashing up two polar opposites that do not normally go together. Like many people in America, I am conflicted by consumerism, and my artworks are a result of my own bad habits, desires, and classic American greed.
Learning Commons at Schaffer Library
807 Union Street
Schenectady, New York 12308 USA
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the library is closed until further notice.