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Solid States: Image/Object in the Age of 3D Printing

Miguel A. Aragón

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Memoria Fracturada series


Thousands of people die in drug-related violence every year in México. By using metaphors and visual metonymies to tie together process and subject matter, I explore the idea of perception, memory and transformation. My work is derived from a need to find meaning in these brutal events that re-positions the corpse in our field of vision, reminding us that our physical existence is a temporary one.


Beginning with the idea of erasure as language, I started to create this body of work through the use of a laser-cutter. This is a violent process since it uses, via a computer, the output of a high-powered laser to create cardboard matrices. The cardboard burns through, leaving a layer of soot on the surface allowing me to then transfer it to paper. By only using the burned pigment as the source of mark-making, I am playing with the idea that those events are burned into the consciousness of the city’s inhabitants — leaving unwanted memories though continuous first-hand exposure to these massacres, shaping the way in which they continue to live their life just as the burned residue leaves a permanent imprint on the paper. There is some variation in tones along with different thickness of embossing, once the cardboard matrixes are printed onto paper, which alludes to a more physical degree on the impact of the events – the varying degrees of impact and permanence.

Miguel A. Aragón (*Juárez, México) lives and works in New York City (USA) and Berlin (Germany); he is an Associate Professor in Printmaking at CUNY College of Staten Island.

ship; KALA Art Institute, Berkeley, CA; Zygote Press, Cleveland, OH; and Till Richter Museum, Buggenhagen, Germany. Aragón’s work has been published in A Survey of Contemporary Printmaking (Greenville, NC: Wellington B. Gray Gallery, 2012), Peenemünde Project: Geschichte wird Kunst / Imprinting History (Berlin: Edition Braus, 2017) and ¡Printing the RevolutioAragón has exhibited internationally at venues including the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY; Uferhallen, Berlin, Germany and the Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists, Canada. His awards and residences include NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellown!: The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now (Washington, DC: Smithsonian American Art Museum; Princeton: in association with Princeton University Press, 2020).

Aragón’s works explore subjects of violence, transient and/or persistent memory, perception and the multiple; he uses erasure as language through the use of processes that are reductive in nature. His work is held in collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago; and Minneapolis Institute of Art.

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