SOLANO / WARHOL - PORTRAITS
In collaboration with
1 November – 6 December, 2019
Peres Projects and McNamara Art Projects are pleased to present Portraits, the first exhibition by Manuel Solano in Hong Kong, featuring works by Andy Warhol.
When Walt Whitman proclaimed that (I am large, I contain multitudes.) in 1819, he became part of a tradition of artists that set out to establish the parameters of the self, and what it means to be an individual. The individual was both singular and universal. That tradition continues, as artists manifest evolving notions of identity into their work, and as changing formations of the self demand new ways of portraiture.
The work of the Mexico-born artist Manuel Solano excavates spaces where identity is ambiguous and flexible. Their practice inserts and interprets the artist into depictions of characters from popular culture or figures from their childhood in order to explore the messiness and proximity of culture and selfhood. As artists often operate as translators for unintelligible shifts in our society, Solano’s portraits reflect this contemporary and multifaceted identity and the shift it is undertaking at the end of this decade.
These canvases are shown alongside new video self-portraits. The characters portrayed in this exhibition do not figure under a unifying theme or have anything in common other than that they have struck the artist in one way or another. The paintings radiate outwards from the video works, the projections and manifestation of the self outside of the body, demonstrating the conditional and relational nature of identity.
Solano reminds us that the subject is comprised of the many people in one’s life.This contemporary treatment of identity is shown alongside the post-war portraits of Andy Warhol.
In these works, Warhol’s subjects are flattened out by the mechanical reproduction of the silkscreening process. The figure in the image becomes the site not of their identity expression but of our own projection. Within duality of the homogeneous tendencies of pop culture and new notions of individuality in post war United States, even these unknown subjects are iconified in the true sense that they at once are representatives of the broader culture and of ourselves.