For his second solo exhibition in Vienna, salvadorean artist Simón Vega presents works from "Tropical Space Proyectos" (2011-ongoing), a series of sculptural objects, installations, photographs and drawings which comment, through an ironic and humorous take on the Space Race, on the effects of the Cold War in Central America. This new series of work also show a growing concern for spaceships and space stations as models for catastrophe-escaping vehicles and dystopian architecture.
In this series of works, the highly technological space capsules and rockets are turned into buildings and modular apartments, they are rendered as maquettes using materials and methods of construction inspired in the informal architecture and street vendor stands found in the beaches and coastal area of El Salvador, where the artist lives.
Dreams of escape through sophisticated technologies and spaceships are harnessed by the extreme poverty and harsh post-colonialism found in Central América, but are, on the other hand, propelled by the resilience, humor and creativity of the local culture.
"Installation view, "Third World Spaceships". Hiller Brot Kunsthalle, Vienna.
|Installation view with "Saturn Dancing Rocket" on the foreground |
and "Tropical Mercury Capsule Rug" on the background.
Installation view with "Saturn Home Capsule" on the foreground and
"Apulo Beach Rover Minutas" on the background right.
“Apulo IV” Tropical Camping" Acrylic and acrylic marker on canvas 90 x 90 cms. 2016
"Vostok Driftwood Rocket", Wood, cloth, yute, driftwood, light, found materials.
350 x 120 cms. Ø. 2017 on the left and "Vostok Home Capsule" on the foreground.
Apolo Burguers & Choris Acrylic and acrylic marker on canvas 140 x 150 cms. 2016
Installation of twin canvases "Space Race DJs" (above)
Space Race DJ. Acrylic and acrylic marker on canvas 109 x 138 cms.2017 (below)
"Mosquito Beach Hostal". Acrylic and acrylic marker on canvas 110 x 110 cms.2015
Installation view, Hilger Brot Kunsthalle.
Simón Vega creates drawings, objects, sculptural installations and happenings inspired in the self-made informal architecture, local markets’ stands and vendor carts found in the streets and beaches of Central America. These works, assembled with wood, cardboard, plastic, metal and found materials include transmutable elements, colored lights and live plants and parody Mayan pyramids, Modernism's iconic buildings and contemporary surveillance systems, creating an ironic and humorous fusion between first and third worlds.
In other works, sophisticated capsules and satellites developed by NASA and the Soviet Space Program during the Space Race are reconstructed in a similar fashion and comment on the effects of the Cold War in contemporary El Salvador.
Born in El Salvador in 1972, Simón Vega graduated in Fine Arts at the University of Veracruz in Mexico in 2000 and received a Master´s degree in Contemporary Arts from the Complutense University in Madrid in 2006.
He has exhibited his work extensively in Europe, the United States and Latin America, including the Pérez Art Museum of Miami (PAMM), the 55th Venice Biennial in Italy (2013), the IX Havana Biennial, in Cuba (2006), the Museo del Barrio's "The S-Files" in New York (2011) and at the Hilger Brot Kunsthalle in Vienna, Austria (2010-2017) amongst others. The Museum of Contemporary Art & Design of Costa Rica (MADC), presented his first museum solo show on November 2016. His work is included in important public and private collections such as the Pérez Art Museum of Miami, Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo de Costa Rica, the Sanziany Collection at Rasumofsky Palace in Vienna and El Museo del Barrio in New York. He lives in La Libertad, El Salvador.