About the Exhibition
Alejandro Diaz's A Can for All Seasons, a light-hearted take on public sculpture, installed on the median of the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, celebrates the overlap between art and everyday life. Inspired by the practice in rural households of growing plants in empty grocery-store cans, Diaz (La Piedad, Mexico) has created four sculptural reproductions of brand-name canned goods, each representing a different type of food that is indigenous to Mexico: corn, chiles, chocolate, and tomatoes. Enlarging them to the size of outdoor street planters, Diaz affectionately observes and celebrates the practice of "making do," of using something on hand to create an aesthetic object. By transforming a small, private act of home improvement into a public gesture, he also plays off of the tradition of social sculpture, with its emphasis on using art to reconsider the world we live in.
An artist of incisive and good-natured wit, Diaz works with equal awareness of, and affinity for, contemporary culture's modernist highs and its campy lows. Yet he is less interested in specific notions of "high" or "low" than he is in observing and fueling the fluidity between the two. In his paintings, sculptures and performance pieces, Diaz often refers to American art's greatest hits. He is inspired not so much by the masterpieces themselves but by their populist proliferation through postcards, knickknacks, and other inexpensive souvenirs, as seen in his edible artwork AMOR, a black-and-white cookie based on Robert Indiana's iconic LOVE painting, or in his glitter replica of Jackson Pollock's Number 32.