Curated by Raphaela Platow
For more than ten years, Carlos Amorales has collected images from books, magazines, the Internet and, most importantly, his own photographs of the urban environment surrounding his Mexico City home and studio. He dissects the composition of each image, isolating a shape over which he creates a digital silhouette through the technique of rotoscoping, a process closely associated with the history of animation.
Amorales calls the resulting visual accumulation his Liquid Archive, a set of imagery that has grown to include more than 1,500 digital drawings gathered into loose categories such as birds, geometric patterns, men, monkeys, skulls, spiderwebs, wolves and a woman undergoing the transformation of pregnancy. In his work, Amorales's fluid groupings bleed together, the drawings blending in myriad, unforeseen combinations that evoke both beauty and horror, the familiar and the strange: ravens with human skulls, trees with human legs, and human/animal hybrids.
Amorales considers the Liquid Archive as much a tool as a work of art itself, a vocabulary of iconographic images that provides the source material for his animations, drawings, installations, paintings, performances and sculptures. Amorales often works across disciplines, collaborating with dancers, fortune tellers, and musicians, all of whom are encouraged to use creativity to engage, interpret and recombine elements from the archive.
Discarded Spider brings together Amorales's diverse artistic pursuits in an installation that responds to Zaha Hadid's design of the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art. Inspired by the artist's early visit to the CAC and developed from Liquid Archive drawings, the Discarded Web sculptures embrace the dramatic Level 2 gallery space and have become an important element in a performance with the Cincinnati Ballet.
Consistent with a body of work that blurs distinctions between artistic disciplines, the artist's surname is itself a hybrid. The son of two Mexican artists, Amorales shares his given name with his father, Carlos Aguirre. To distinguish himself and his work from his father's, Amorales took his mother's maiden name, Morales, and added the initial A from his father's name. This new pseudonym, Amorales says, becomes its own creation.