Raffaella De Chirico Contemporary

Alejandro Cartagena

Alejandro Cartagena's proposal - Suburbia Mexicana (Mexican Suburbs) - is a five part project that revolves around the representation of the current mexican suburban sprawl with a focus on the metropolitan area of Monterrey. It considers the interdependence of humans and landscape in the face of urban expansion. Although artists and activists alike have focused on the negative impact of urban sprawl since the 1960s, Alejandro Cartagena’s work is unique in its preoccupation with the largely overlooked, irrevocable effects of suburban expansion within a local ecosystem.
The Car Poolers is the name of the project whose images are contained in this catalogue and it is one of the five parts of Suburbia Mexicana.
It was shot for a year on Monterrey’s highway 85 going southbound to San Pedro Garza Garcia, one of the richest cities in Latin America. With a bird’s eye view over the trucks commuting to and from work, Cartagena captures images of laborers carpooling in the back of pickup trucks – in a variety of different forms and positions: hidden and outright, sleeping and awake, looking directly at the camera and looking away.
Karen Irvine - curator and associate Director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography of Chicago - writes about Cartagena work: “Understanding that overdevelopment is not just a local problem, works hard as an artist to share his photographs as one clear plea for responsible, sustainable development in a rapidly changing world.”
Raffaella De Chirico ContemporaryVia della Rocca, 19I -...
Alejandro Cartagena was born in Dominican Republic in 1977 and he currently lives and works in Monterrey, Mexico. His projects employ landscape and portraiture as a means to examine social, urban and environmental issues.
His work has been exhibited internationally and it is in the collections of several museums, including: SFMOMA - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (USA), Santa Barbara Museum (USA), Harry Ransom Center (University of Texas, USA), MAFH - Museum of Fine Arts Houston (USA), MOCP - Museum Of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, USA), Portland Art Museum (USA), University of Maine (USA), Joaquim Paiva Collection (Sao Paolo, Brazil), Sinafo/ Fototeca Nacional Del Inah (Pachuca, Mexico), Fototeca Del Centro De Las Artes (Monterrey, Mexico), Fondo De La Casa De La Cultura De Nuevo León (Conarte, Monterrey, Mexico), Universidad de Monterrey (Mexico). He has received the Photolucida Critical Mass Book Award, the Lente Latino Award in Chile, the Premio Salon de la Fotografia from the Fototeca de Nuevo Leon, the Premio IILA-Fotografia 2012 Award in Rome and a POYi reportage award of excellence among other awards. He has been finalist at the World Sony Award in 2012. He has been named a FOAM magazine talent and one of PDN´s magazine 30 emerging photographers. He has also been a finalist for the Aperture Portfolio award and has been nominated for several important prizes such as the Santa Fe photography prize, the Prix Pictet prize, the Photoespaña Descubrimientos award and the FOAM Paul Huff award. Alejandro’s...