About the Book
In a recent visit to his studio, I heard the artist’s Spanish accent; saw his art collection, and caught a glimpse of his way of life. All of these aspects reflect the traditional culture of the Rio Grande Valley but his art is somewhat different. It has a forward-looking, abstract quality that reminds me of art made in large cosmopolitan cities.
For example, his work is full of references to the Pop Art movement. He incorporates comic strip motifs such as the enlarged Ben-Day dots, and plenty of references to our visual environment such as logos and newspaper clippings. He even includes famous characters such as Charlie Brown and Superman in his paintings. Art that makes use of references to popular culture was characteristic of progressive art centers like New York City during the 1960s.
But his work is not only about borrowing from Pop Art. There’s more to it. His scribbles, lines, stains, marks, collages, and surprising visual combinations reveal a contemporary style that seeks to innovate through a very playful, sometimes childlike aesthetic. He uses oil, acrylic, permanent marker, enamel marker, oil paint stick, oil pastels, spray paint, fabric paint, and various stains and inks.
In the Rio Grande Valley, he has had solo shows at the International Museum of Art and Science, the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art. His work is gaining attention outside the Valley with a solo show at Cohn Drennan Contemporary and a collective exhibition at Craighead Green Gallery entitled New Texas Talent XVI.
Cande Aguilar (b. 1972, Brownsville, Texas) is a visual artist that reflects on border culture through his BarrioPOP, defined as an amalgamation sprung by characters, colors and street phenomena of his life emerged in a border town. He is a self-taught artist ranging from multimedia painting to assemblage and image transfer and is also an accordionist deeply rooted in Conjunto/Tejano music. Aguilar’s work has been featured in solo shows at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, The International Museum of Arts & Science, Cahn Drennan Contemporary and group exhibits at MACLA Museum in California, Wichita Falls Museum of Art, Craighead Green Gallery in Dallas, K Space Contemporary, Kirk Hopper Gallery and The Painting Center in New York.