Installation artist reimagines trash, challenges consumption

Publication Date
Art show

Artist Juan Hinojosa, whose complex collage-drawings are constructed from found objects and everyday trash as part of his desire to challenge American greed and consumption, is the sixth artist featured in the College’s Art Installation Series.

He will mount his exhibition, “All Mine,” in the Schaffer Library Learning Commons Monday, April 1 through Thursday, April 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"Everyone who’s walking by will see the creative process unfold and be able to interact with the artist on an informal basis,” said Julie Lohnes, curator of Art Collections and Exhibitions.

There will be an artist talk and reception in the Learning Commons Friday, April 5, 12:55 p.m.-1:45 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Mandeville Gallery, with additional funding provided by Schaffer Library.

Hinojosa, who lives and works in Queens, finds inspiration from the glamour of fashion magazines, television and New York City lifestyles, but he questions his own interest in belonging to this world.

“The funny thing about being the first-born child of two immigrants is that as a child you can become absolutely obsessed with all aspects of American culture,” he writes. “As someone who grew up in a low-income Peruvian immigrant family, the desire to have more than I could afford became a constant struggle. This led to my obsession collecting everything I could get my hands on.”

Hinojosa collects magazines, advertisements, postcards, toys and other items to arrange and play with, much as a painter might arrange color with paint. Never duplicating or altering an item, he creates symmetrical collages on paper and canvas.

Reimagining found images and objects from New York City streets “has changed the way I look at my own trash and the trash around me,” he says. “I, like most people in America, am conflicted with consumerism, and my works are a result of my own bad habits, desires and classic American greed.”

Hinojosa received his B.F.A. from Parsons School of Design in New York. He has held residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vt., and Materials for the Arts in Queens. At Union, he was one of six artists to interpret the meaning of repetition in the 2016 Mandeville Gallery exhibit “Recurrence.”

Recent exhibitions of his work include “Allow me to Reintroduce Myself” at The Cigar Factory, “ARENA” at Wrap Around 12 and “Back to Black” at Stout Projects, all in New York. He has been awarded the Queens Council on the Arts: New Work Grant twice in the past four years.

His Schaffer Library installation will remain in place for one year.