Recalling an all day hike he undertook with a friend several years back, Augusto stepped into a new body of work for his second exhibition with Maloney Fine Art. The new paintings are a continuation of the artist’s eternal inquisitiveness into historical and contemporary abstraction and a reflection of his love for adventure and play when working in his studio.
In Hey! Where Are You Taking Me, Augusto continues to be inspired by readings of Eastern Philosophy such as Buddhism and Daoism, conditioning him to react to the present instead of working in a prescribed, outlined fashion.
After spending several hours climbing a steep trail, and subsequently a rock face, using their bare hands (no harnesses or climbing gear), Augusto and a friend found themselves several miles away from the trail head; Augusto continued to press on, towards the other side of the mountain hoping to find a way back other than the route they had taken so far. The trail had long disappeared (ended?) and his friend began to ask for them to turn around as they had no GPS, compass or water. Treading ahead became more difficult as the vegetation became more dense and thorny, and the terrain more technical and rocky, and they were running out of daylight. At one point Augusto looked back and his friend had stopped following him: “This ain’t no trail” his friend yelled, “besides we don’t know what’s down there by the gully, let’s go back since it’s getting dark and it will be lots harder to get back down”.
Much like the hike, Augusto’s new paintings favor uncharted territory. In “Hey Where are you Taking Me?”, he asks his own studio practice the same question his friend asked him when they became lost on their hike. As Augusto makes each painting, he expects a new adventure and he prefers to embrace the journey trusting his intuition no matter how uncertain the outcome can be. Like the Arte Povera artists before him, Sandroni attempts to break down the ‘dichotomy between art and life’ (Celant: Flash Art, 1967), mainly through the creation of paintings and works on paper, made from everyday materials. These apparently simple, abstract compositions are instantaneous, yet come out of a practice of extreme observation, using spatial construction and wonky, slightly off-kilter geometry as optic devices of stimuli.
The artist, who was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil in the 1960s, came of age when the Utopianism of tropical Modernism was at its peak, and that, along with the largest carnival in the world, played a creative role in later forming his artistic vision. Seeing himself as a visionary artist who operates as if self-taught, Sandroni intuitively works with mundane, non-traditional processes and materials, such as industrial tape, aluminum foil, cardboard, burlap, found objects, and fabric paints. Not striving to make something too perfect, he makes non-symmetrical forms out of cut pieces of tape that act as a “place holder” for paint impasto, playing with the coincidence or absurdity that something can be made from these materials.
Augusto Sandroni was born in 1964 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Cum Laude in Painting-Printmaking, at San Diego State University (2011) and received his Master of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University (2014).
Hey! Where Are You Taking Me? is the artist’s second solo exhibition in Los Angeles.
Augusto Sandroni lives and works in Los Angeles, California.