Maxwell Colette Gallery is pleased to present Redemption, new sculptures from the Chicago-based artist Alecks Cruz. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.
Alecks Cruz is, at his core, a lettersmith. He explores the composition of individual letters and the unique beauty that each character has to offer. For his large-scale letterform sculptures, Cruz utilizes discarded cardboard shipping boxes as his materials. He focuses on the structural form of individual graffiti style letters, creating a framework for finer detail; embellishment with marquetry-style geometric panels fashioned from sections of the box’s printing. The three dimensional sculptures are meant to be viewed from all angles, and range in height from three up to five feet tall.
Redemption will feature the debut of six new sculptures. With regard to the title of this body of work, Cruz states “just as graffiti art was forged out of penury into an eloquent art, I chose to redeem abandoned materials.” The fusion of classic style lettering and repurposed materials creates works that, in this case, are not merely crafty updates of throw-back visuals.These pieces, fashioned out of redeemed cardboard, are Cruz’s personal reaction to the co-opting of graffiti by external forces. Through the act of slicing the cardboard’s printed branding and commercial typography, destroying it, and ultimately reconfiguring it into a graffiti based form, Cruz is able to exact a measure of revenge for the distasteful marketing that threatens to reduce graffiti to cliche.