Artist of the Week: Alejandro Almanza Pereda

Alejandro Almanza Pereda currently lives in New York and Mexico City.  He received his BFA in 2005 from the University of Texas at El Paso.

If you had to explain your work to a stranger, what would you say? That I mainly do sculptures using objects and materials, trying to make relationships to make a situation for the viewer.

What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? I mainly do window shopping, browsing materials and objects. On the other side I record situations that I encounter.  Then an idea comes.  I come back to find the objects which takes a huge effort and amount of time compared to making or assemble the final piece.

What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? Life, architecture, cinema, science, art.

How has your work developed within the past year?  I think my work has become more controlled and contained than before. But the other day, looking at my sketchbooks from years ago and even from school, I found that my interests and ways of thinking are almost the same. This made me feel good, so my new work is embracing old and new ideas.

When and where did your interest in art begin?  When I was around 8 years old, my mom took me to see an Alexander Calder exhibition in Mexico City. I remember she bought me a poster of his work. As soon I got home I started to cut and assemble soda cans.

What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you? To be sincere it has been a long time since an exhibition has blown my mind, I think I have been “touched” more often with individual pieces. But to answer the question, it was Keith Tyson’s “Large Field Array” at PACE.

What is one of the bigger challenges you and/or other artists are struggling with these days, and how do you see it developing? I think every body has their own story, but I think the one that affects us the most is the lack of support for cultural programs from any government around the world.

If you hadn’t become an artist, what do you think you’d be doing? I think I’d be a filmmaker (but I don’t think I’m good at telling stories), architect (but I am sure could not stand the clients’ opinions), graphic designer (the same as being an architect), or an
international soccer star (no comment).

What are some upcoming or current projects you are working on? I am working on my next exhibition at CHERT in Berlin and on a piece for a group show in the Royal Museum of Toronto.  I will also be part of curated project in ARCO Madrid with Magnan Metz Gallery this February.

What were you like in high school?  A loser.

What are you really excited about right now? Getting a grant to produce some videos.  Making a booklet and CD for a project I had in a Band in NYC a year ago.

What are your plans for the next year? To do more exercise, drink less, and read more.  To spend some time in Berlin and New York city.