Working between sculpture and photography, Harold Mendez explores the tension between fiction and truth, with an interest in how constructions of history shape our sense of reality and self. A first-generation American of Mexican-Columbian descent, his work often considers the transnational experience and cultural memory. Mendez introduces a sense of time and place into each work, either by transforming found photographs through a laborious manual process that degrades the surface; slowly building an architectural surface with graphite or ink; or using specific materials to locate identity within new contexts. What emerges from his distinct artistic gestures is something in between an image and an object—leading viewers to slow down their act of looking and call into question what they’re actually seeing. A solo exhibition featuring new work by Harold Mendez will be presented by Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) from July 12 through October 11, 2020 and is organized by Jamillah James, ICA LA Curator.

(Excerpt and image above selected from grant proposal. Artwork is copyright of the artist.)