Aldo Chaparro (b.1965) is a Mexican/Peruvian artist whose work focuses in the use of sculpture and painting to explore form in post-industrial ways. He currently lives and works between Mexico City, New York, Madrid and Lima.
Chaparro explores form through void, matter and the human body using quick processes to transform prefabricated materials into unique objects. Using elements commonly used for construction, he creates forms in balance by manipulating and subtracting matter.
Aldo Chaparro’s sculptures made with bent steel are the result of his ongoing relationship with the material. Steel has been present in mankind since ancient times. However the steel sheets used by Chaparro are characteristic of the industrial era. Their slimness, neatness and their reflective quality can only be achieved through machines, and because of that, the sculptures’ violent nature creates great contrast with the nature of the sheets, as Chaparro kicks, bends, and jumps on them using nothing but his body and his own weight.
As the mirroring accuracy on the steel sheets distorts itself, the sculptures function as goggles that allow us to experience reality on a parallel way. The mirror is then the transit from auto-erotism to the viewer’s self-contemplation. They trigger our sense of exploration so sight can transform into knowledge using the sculptures’ surface as its theater. The eyes triumph over the sense of touch.
The concept of sumi-e in Zen stands for the great economy of mediums. This economy is necessary to express the purity and simplicity of the eternal nature of the subject. As the rest of his sculptures, Chaparro’s Totems aren’t trying to create the illusion of reality. He has abandoned true to life perspective, working with artificial space relations that makes us think not into reality, but into its essence. This act allows us to the idle space and moment of creation, in which get to know yourself until you construct yourself.
In his totem sculptures, the stability of the wood joist and steel plates is disguised as fragility, maintaining the eternal qualities of the materials, which for the artist are themselves a work of art. By using the simplest possible means, the inherent nature of the aesthetic object shifts. The subtraction of mater on his chainsawed wood joists, and also on his computer models, points towards the Zen ideas of negative space, and on how it defines objects in which its essence depends on their ability to hold or be completed.
This is why Chaparro’s work is leaded by a research on the connection established between the artist and his materials of choice as he reduces them to abstract forms.
Rethinking Carl Andre’s TRABUM(1977)
Inspired by the Memphis Group’s arbitrariness, which bored by austerity and the function follows formdogma opened a door for post-modernism and the idea of “form doesn’t follow function”, in Re-Thinking Carl Andre’s TRABUM, a variation of Andre's TRABUMhas been modularly sliced to transform void into a prosthesis. Solidity is no longer the only parameter in the form. Complete stability has been dismissed; hence, the prosthetic emptiness summons a floating equilibrium. Returning to the sculptural idea in which form remains trapped inside a block of marble or a piece of wood, Chaparro extracts new shapes from one of Andre's most iconic pieces. As a result, by incorporating void, less is always less.
Selected Public & Private Collections
The Jumex Foundation / Collection (Mexico).
The Coppel Collection (Mexico).
The CIFO – Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (Miami – U.S.).
The Helga of Alvear Foundation (Cáceres – Spain).
Simon de Pury (London – U.K.).
Douglas Baxter’s Collection (New York – U.S.).
Domenico de Sole, (Hilton Head, U.S.
Guler Sabanci, (Istanbul, Turkey).
Pierre Huber Collection, (Switzerland).
Museum of Contemporary Art Lima, (Lima, Peru).
Perez Art Museum Miami (Miami, U.S.)