Dakis Joannou and the Yacht that Conquers, curated by Pedro Velez
poster and photographic banner triptych
This is not a comprehensive web site of my work. All images copyright of Pedro Vélez.
Jessica Hutchins and Pedro Velez are by no means into consulting oracles or interceding with the gods, but their sculptural objects suggest a curiosity in something unnatural and spirited. Hutchins’ old T-shirt, collaged with stars cut from the newspaper, and Velez’ construction paper sandwiched together with oozing orange acrylic paint could be legitimately redeemed in a contemporary art context as a poor-man’s Jessica Stockholder or a clumsy Tony Feher. But more compelling and unusual is Hutchins and Velez’ naive attempt to attach a quasi-sacred belief system to their ephemera in order to justify and redeem their own overarching seduction by materiality and worldly success. Their simple sculptural forms pry open the secularised conceptual framework of art production in the hope of glimpsing an epistemological precept greater than the intellectual mandates of art schools and the privilege of the market place.
Velez’ Postcard (2000) hits a metaphysical mark without over dependence on animated material. Commercially printed, these blue and yellow postcards, casually stuck to the gallery wall, sport a smartly designed list of contemporary artists such as Daniel Buren, Gaylen Gerber, Julian Schnabel, Ceal Floyer, and Kay Rosen. A stack of the same cards next to the gallery’s sign-in book was inscribed with the words ‘Curated by Pedro Velez’. This fictional exhibition announcement is as much wish fulfilment as it is a piece of critical commentary in which Velez takes a swipe at an inadequate local art apparatus while acknowledging his admiration for certain artists. Perhaps if he holds the card close to his heart and makes a wish the show will come true. Maybe even in the mid-West. All it takes is a little faith.