Cartón pintado: Baile fantástico [Fantasy Ball]

The Museo Moderno presents the first solo exhibition at a museum by Argentinian artist Mariano Altamirano (Buenos Aires, 1988), also known as Cartón Pintado [Painted Cardboard], a pseudonym which he chose in reference to one of the most crucial resources in his artistic practice, and one which gives sense to his pieces.

His use of cardboard as a support for his work symbolises the relationship he establishes with the city during his walks, but it also points to the reuse of a discarded material that is generally alien to pictorial tradition. While he changes the function of the cardboard he collects on his travels through the city – appropriating it to support the images of different characters that are identified through their expressions, poses and attire – Cartón Pintado also uses the medium to explore his own identity.

This series of recent portraits condenses the intimacy of his own experiences with those of imagined characters. The images invite us to reflect on human behaviour, as represented by supernatural transformations, animistic phenomena and gender variations. The stories emerge from different experiences of the artist: everyday experiences, imagined stories, or reflections that are told using the power of the materials and the colours that appear in thick layers of oil paint, as well as the use of other materials that add details, luster, and identity to his characters.

In his hands, the portrait is a model of transmutation that offers us the possibility to see and imagine ourselves as someone else. Cartón Pintado’s portraits go beyond what is seen as they condense ideas, attitudes and visions in an aesthetic that combines realism, expressionism and imagination. In his search for that wealth of expression, the artist recognizes himself in the characters he paints and, perhaps, leaves us with the question of whether the figures are also self-portraits that go beyond the poetic dialectic between life and art.

Curators: Clarisa Appendino, Victoria Noorthoorn

Cartón Pintado (Buenos Aires, 1988) comenzó a pintar en su habitación sobre cartones encontrados de gran formato, mezclando distintas técnicas y materiales. Después de estudiar diseño de moda y profundizar sus estudios en la Universidad Nacional de las Artes (UNA), continuó con su formación autodidacta. Durante el 2019 participó en muestras colectivas en el Centro Cultural Haroldo Conti y en la galería Alpha Centauri. En febrero de 2020, realizó su primera muestra individual, en la galería Quimera, y realizó una residencia en Munar. Boca de fuego (Buenos Aires, Argentina). En 2021, realizó su segunda muestra individual, en la galería NN (La Plata, Argentina). Desde el año 2020, forma parte del colectivo “Caterine Ful Love”, junto con las artistas Nina Kovensky y Lucía Reisig.