Alexander Apóstol (Venezuela)
ALEXANDER APÓSTOL includes conventional formal portraits. He creates an almost archetypal character of the male image, but with both humor and irony in his staged large-scale assemblages. The men with their proper attires and classical mustaches are portrayed this way to reinforce and mold masculinity. The anonymous portraits of stereotypes seem vaguely familiar and become quite identifiable. The men are part of the Venezuelan cultural make up of Apóstol and are therefore of autobiographical nature. In The Tailor he combines three pictorial elements: a row of middle aged male headshots, a classical male suit on a hanger, and an out-of-shape nude male torso. Apóstol selects from a pool of images that reflect his personal history and daily life. The contrasting images create ambiguity and mysticism. Apóstol provokes one to draw from memory and past experiences of the older generations to personalize and interpret the mystery locked within these juxtaposed images, with a touch of 1940-50’s aura. To capitalize stylistically on advertising imagery, can also clearly be seen as a desire on the part of the artist, to blur the borders between high art and popular visual language. Also, in his most recent series, Pasatiempo, Apóstol exhibits constant, authentic and coherent evolution in the discussions about fine art v. popular culture, and the issues surrounding male identity.