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Chris Mendoza “A Point of View”
Born in Nicaragua, raised in New York City, Chris Mendoza draws from both cultures in his dazzlingly precise and detailed abstract works. Working primarily in ink, paint and mixed media (deconstructed barcodes and international postal label s tagged with graffiti), he constructs entire worlds and self‐contained systems of varying degrees of complexity.
The son of an architect, Mendoza is gripped by the mechanics of urban life: the architecture of infrastructure; the interactions between humanity and between humanity and machines; the rhythm of rituals; and the intricacies of written language. Mendoza has studied Mayan, Central and Native American civilizations and cultures, and he has pored over their scripts, glyphs and calligraphies. Those elements lie at the heart of his imagery, through which he displays exacting precision that is equally remarkable for its impulse and intuition.
He has exhibited at Joshua Liner Gallery and White Box in New York City; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston‐Salem, N.C.; Transport Gallery in Los Angeles; Museo de Arte in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Beams in Tokyo; and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; among many others.
Early in his career, Mendoza was an integral member of the Barnstormers, a highly influential collective of artists, which included artists Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Jose Parla and David Ellis among them. The Barnstormers, based in New York, North Carolina and Tokyo, worked together to create art, highlighting their diverse backgrounds with styles that complemented, clashed and fed off each other. This is evidenced in their site‐specific installations and frenetic and stunning video collaborations.
If those videos represent the improvisational communication most associated with jazz, Mendoza, in his solo work, captures a more symphonic motif, adroitly balancing dynamic dissonance with an overwhelming sense of order.