Charlie Quezada (b.1986, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) studied Fine Arts & Illustration at Chavón La Escuela de Diseño in Dominican Republic. After finishing an Associates Degree, he completed a BFA in Fine Arts at Parsons The New School in New York. His work has been part of numerous exhibitions and biennials both in the Dominican Republic and the U.S.—such as Cooper Square Hotel in New York—as well as in the Italian “Fabrica” catalog. He currently lives and works in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Choosing painting as his medium, the work of Charlie Quezada has focused in approaching everyday life as an essential subject matter for the understanding of the creative process. From this exploration traditional genres such as interior, still life and landscape, are refreshed through a simplified representation. The mid- and large-sized paintings refer to a figurative language, which stems from the need of creating shapes from reality, but at the same time containing traces of abstraction in a search for subdued tension. The result are subjective places where everyday objects emerge while illustrating the artist’s own circumstance within his context of essential emotions.
His work is built around a study of landscape as seen through limits, striving to understand humankind’s historical propensity of framing nature at its convenience. Interest in these subjects sparked from the observation of vernacular architecture in his native country, where modernist construction techniques were commonly used with a Caribbean quality.
Recently, this has been displaced by a more contemporary aesthetic which is often not at the service of environmental conditions nor availability of materials. A feeling of alienation within a familiar context is represented in orderly compositions, which are in turn filled with tension between two elements: the spaces we create and those assigned to us by being born somewhere, both equally necessary for the constitution of identity and for production itself.
For his “Foreign Influences” show at Praxis, Quezada proposed a series of small-to-large format acrylic paintings where the horizon of Dominican Republic’s coasts serves as setting, prevailing in an exercise of contrast between interior and exterior space while showing the way in which humankind attempts to hold nature and mold it as decoration. Borrowing from architectural elements and local handicrafts taken from photographs made by the artist as well as archival material found in books, Quezada intends to create fictitious spaces where everyday objects emerge freely and the realities of a Caribbean border context are illustrated – a context where artistries and mixed identities create other forms of nature and containment.