Man with Lightbulb
This painting uses raw graphite lines with expressive globs of oil paint to rework snapshots from the American past. The resulting composition collapses periods of time and, in its tactile immediacy, reveals something about the state of the nation today.
Aguilar's work intervenes in the process of images mediating our relationship to history and, by extension, the present. While his subject matter is purportedly historical, the deadpan gaze of many of his figures yanks these scenes into the contemporary moment.
Aguilar's paintings also adopt a position of ethical responsibility, with a sense of social justice undergirding his canvases. Something hopeful seeps through the artist's multicolored scenes—an intimation that if, and only if, history is acknowledged and its remnants confronted, we can forge new paths that lead us forward.
A self-taught artist, Aguilar reworks snapshots of the American past into multi-colored paintings that mingle raw graphite lines with globs of oil paint. By collapsing periods of time, his canvases reveal how images mediate our relationship to history and the present. Aguilar’s work seeks to restore dignity to those who have been denied it, engaging issues of social justice as well as structural and institutional violence.
Farley Aguilar, born in 1980 in Nicaragua, is a self-taught artist living and working in Miami, Florida.
Solo exhibitions of Aguilar's work include: ClosedGame at Lyles & King in New York City (2021); Contrariety at Edel Assanti in London, UK (2019); and Invisible Country at Spinello Gallery at Miami, Florida (2016); among others.
The artist's work has been featured in numerous international group exhibitions, including: A Very Anxious Feeling: Voices of Unrest in the American Experience; 20 Years of the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia (2020); I WANT TO FEEL ALIVE AGAIN at Lyles & King in New York City (2020); Fragmented Bodies at Albertz Benda in New York City (2020); On the Road II, curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, at Oolite Arts in Miami, US (2019); We are the people. Who are you? at Edel Assanti in London, UK (2019); Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of the Black and Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art at the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, Florida (2018); Alternative Contemporaneities: Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami in Miami, Florida (2015); the Florida Prize in Contemporary Art Exhibition at the Orlando Museum of Art in Orlando, FL (2015); and Carnival at the Fondation Francés in Paris, France (2013).
Work by Aguilar is held in public and private collections, including: The Bass Museum of Art, in Miami, Florida; the Akron Art Museum in Akron, Ohio; Brown University’s David Winton Bell Gallery Collection in Providence, Rhode Island; the Orlando Museum of Art in Orlando, Florida; the Pérez Art Museum Miami in Miami, Florida; and Yuz Museum Shanghai in Shanghai, China.