Alejandro Cardenas


Marine Brigade, 2009, Ink, watercolor, and gouache on paper, 3 drawings, each 6.75 x 8.75 inches framed

Narcomedusa, 2010, Ink, watercolor, and gouache on paper, 30 x 30 inches

Waterbear, 2010, Pen and ink, watercolor, and gouache on paper, 30 x 30 inches

Poseidon, 2010, Pen and ink, watercolor, and gouache on paper, 30 x 30 inches

Viviana Died Series,2005,  Ink and Gouache on paper, variable dimensions

Viviana Died Series,2005,  Ink and Gouache on paper, variable dimensions

Arctic Cross, graphic novel, concept art

Portrait of the Explorer Mid Fantasy Bone, 2008, Pen and ink, watercolor, and gouache on paper, 15 x 15 inches

Universal Destruction Sequence, 2008, Pen and ink, watercolor, and gouache on paper, 15 x 15 inches


About the Artist

As long as there has been Proenza Schouler, there has been Alejandro Cardenas, art-directing. He began by designing a logo for the label, back when Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez were his pals, fresh out of Parsons, and not the minor fashion-cult gods they are now.

“Jack and Lazaro went snorkelling, and they came back wanting tropical fish,” he says. “So I created fish. I created an ocean on my computer screen.” What, not by hand?

“Have you ever looked at a fish up close? You can’t draw those colours on paper. At least, I can’t. Their colours aren’t flat. They glow.”

Cardenas remains an artist in his own right—as he was before Proenza—and deals primarily with ink, watercolour and gouache on a small scale. His work, last seen in his show Narcomedusa in February at James Fuentes gallery in New York, is lithe and beautiful. He wants it to be beautiful, if nothing else, and somewhere between weird and mysterious.

“The main part of art I love—the main part of art that matters—is making it,” he tells me. “But then, I do like to hear what people have to say.”

Tell him some of his works look like caveman drawings, and he laughs. Tell him that the one with three white, minnow-like women in an indigo sea looks like Matisse—that blue! He says, “Sure, I’ll take it.”

With a little cajoling, he admits the best compliment he’s ever received is: “Your art doesn’t look like anything else.” (Fashion Magazine)

Alejandro Cardena’s Website

Alejandro Cardenas at James Fuentes LLC

Posted by Carmelita Caruana