The Happy Lion is currently presenting The World’s Largest Cardboard Sign and Other New Works, a solo show of language-related works, including sculpture, neon and installation, by New York-based artist Alejandro Diaz. The centerpiece of the exhibition, The World’s Largest Cardboard Sign, 2009, is 10 feet tall, 12 feet wide, and weighs 200 pounds. Diaz elevates the self-referential sign to art object through the use of postmodern humor, while simultaneously poking fun at American culture, where bigger ALWAYS equals better. In his text-based pieces, Diaz uses incisive wit to critique cultural stereotypes, socio-political economies, and the world of contemporary art.
Another work included in the exhibition, a neon sign reading Marfa 1,600 miles, mocks the art world insider by referencing the tiny Texan town, a sought-after contemporary art destination in the middle of the desert. Diaz began the cardboard sign series in 2003 and later started to incorporate neon, vinyl, and fabric. Other signs read In the Future Everyone will be famous for $15.00 and By Disappointment Only.
The artist received his B.F.A from the University of Texas at Austin and his M.F.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in New York. In 2005, New York’s Public Art Fund commissioned Diaz to create four large sculptures for the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, resulting in the installation A Can for All Seasons. He was included in the Jersey City Museum‘s 2005 group exhibition, The Superfly Effect, which was reviewed by The New York Times.
The World’s Largest Cardboard Sign and Other New Works will remain at The Happy Lion until November 24, 2009.