Miguel A. Aragón

Solo Exhibition Award Winner

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Miguel A. Aragón (born Ciudad Juárez, México; lives Staten Island, NY) received a BFA from the University of Texas at El Paso and an MFA from the University of Texas, Austin. Aragón has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY and the Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists, Canada. His numerous awards and residences include KALA Art Institute, Berkeley, CA; Zygote Press, Cleveland, OH; as well as Till Richter Museum, Buggenhagen, Germany. His work is held in numerous private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago; and Minneapolis Institute of Art. Aragón’s work has been published in numerous catalogs and books, including A Survey of Contemporary Printmaking (Greenville, NC: Wellington B. Gray Gallery, 2012) and Peenemünde Project: Geschichte wird Kunst / Imprinting History (Berlin: Edition Braus, 2017). The latter features Aragón’s work made during a residency at the WWII-era power plant in Peenemünde, Germany, where he explored the history of the Nazi-era slave labor missile research center. Aragón is an Assistant Professor in Printmaking at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York.

Statement from the Artist:
Using erasure as language and processes that are reductive in nature, I explore what it means to see, live and cope with images of incomprehensible violence. Through the use of metaphors and visual metonymies, my work addresses perception, memory and transformation: the act of destroying the original image to create another one is directly related to the notion of trying to erase from our consciousness traumatic events that are experienced on a daily basis in Mexico due to violent war on drugs. For this series, I used a power hand-drill as a drawing tool to obliterate portraits of the casualties of the violence – innocent bystanders, law enforcement officials as well as cartel members – enhancing the pixilation and drilling one halftone at a time using different size drill bits through the original image and onto the copper plate or woodblock matrix. My work responds to the need to find meaning in distressing events that reposition mortality in our field of vision, reminding us that our physical existence is finite.

Miguel A. Aragón: Indices of Silence/Índices del silencio, on view at The Print Center January 17 – March 13, 2020