Alejandro Macias | January 2022
Alejandro Macias (b. 1987 in Brownsville, TX) lives and works in Tucson, AZ.
Presented by MoPA (Museum of Pocket Art)
We first came across MoPA at the 20/21 triennial of El Museo del Barrio titled “Estamos Bien” (We are doing okay). Artist Robert Jackson Harrington founded the Museum of Pocket Art (MoPA) in 2004 with the idea that everyone should carry with them a small artwork in a pocket to enrich their day and share with others. As soon as we learned more about the project, we couldn’t resist asking them to be part of our programming.
Alejandro Macias’ work and practice stem from the division represented by the U.S./ Mexico border. The Rio Grande Valley, where he was born and raised, remains a unique place for its fusion of Mexican and American culture. The artist feels divided by these two nations while simultaneously composed by them, mirroring his engagement with traditional rendering and his challenge with contemporary drawing and painting.
At the root of this specific work is a reinterpretation of archived family photos of his immediate family. The work is inspired by wallet-sized photographs that Macias carried with him as a child and is meant to be an internal reflection of Mexican-American identity and personal family history. “I like to imagine that these portraits are in constant motion and are abstract representations of the cultural shift that happened between three generations.”
Born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, along the U.S./ Mexico border, Alejandro Macias received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Brownsville in 2008 and a Master of Fine Arts in 2-D Studio Art from the University of Texas-Pan American in 2012. Since 2016, he has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Chateau d’Orquevaux in Orquevaux, France, The Studios at MASS MoCA, and most recently Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY (2022). He has participated in group exhibitions at the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin, Mexic-Arte Museum, Rockport Center for the Arts, Carlsbad Museum of Art, Amarillo Museum of Art, Urban Arts Center in Dallas, TX, and Five Oaks Museum in Portland, OR and had solo exhibitions at Presa House Gallery and Tucson Museum of Art. Macias currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Arizona School of Art in Tucson, AZ.
The Museum of Pocket Art (MoPA) was founded in 2004 by artist Robert Jackson Harrington. The Museum displays works of art created to fit in the pocket, usually around the size of a business card, in galleries selected to best frame the work, ranging from wallets to mobile devices. You can learn more at: mopaonline.com