Paradise Syndrome

Opening Reception: October 21st, 2015 7-10 pm
Through November 18th, 2015
661 Driggs Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11121

Gallery Hours:
By appointment only (

“Paradise Syndrome” refers to a condition of perpetual dissatisfaction, often suffered by those with great wealth who feel that there is nothing further to be achieved. In a materialistic culture, it is an absurd privilege to even imagine such a state: finding that one has too much—the mere suspicion that one, in fact, has it all. Is paradise, then, illusory? Does the existence of the syndrome expose its artificial wooden backbones, like the Hollywood sign, demarcating its topographical entry and exit—disavowing belief in its dreams and wonders?

Evoking an apocalyptic Garden of Eden, the Paradise Syndrome is an exhibition that pushes against traditional notions of paradise, while holding out hope that paradise may exist in other guises. The exhibition suggests the post-fall landscape—brimming with money, lust, order, and chaos. The minimalist arrangement of subtle-but-evocative objects in the space allows the viewer, prodded by the sinful themes suggested by the artwork, to subjectively re-assess their conceptions of “paradise” and, finally, find their own.

Participating artists include: Silvina Arismendi, Adrian S. Bara, Aldo Chaparro, Juan Fontanive, Ricardo Gonzalez, Alois Kronschlaeger, Alberto Lopez, Norman Mooney, Mario Navarro, Ishmael Randall Weeks, Alfredo de Stefano,  Francisco Ugarte and Alexis Zambrano.

Preview exhibition


Silvina Arismendi (Montevideo, Uruguay 1976)

Arismendi's body of works is a result of unrelenting research of materials and supplies. In an almost casual and brief gesture, she transforms a myriad of objects, gathered from everyday life, and compiles them into different arrangements and situations. She attempts to give order by measuring her time, her work and the possibilities with certain materials and objects – obsessive repetition provides coined systems unique to her alone. The work reveals in itself the process of its making, its failure or triumph. I face every work with curiosity and try to understand how I can modify the least to achieve the most. Arismendi explains: “I like to think of my work as an organized world that welcomes chaos and embraces the power of simplicity.”

In 2000, she received a scholarship to study in the Czech Republic, graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in 2007. Since 2003, she has exhibited in many European cities, as well as in Latin America. In 2007 she founded galería parásito/, which is a platform for for the cultural exchange between Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe. Arismendi currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.


Adrian S. Bara (Mexico City, Mexico 1982)

Bará’s art practice combines his education and experience as a filmmaker, his interest for visual narratives, and his empirical approaches to everyday situations. His work is generated through the appropriation of visual elements and materials taken from his immediate environment, which are presented as the traces of a story of contemporary reality and are arranged as fragments to compose new narratives. Bará was included in “Leviatán” at the Museo de Arte Raúl Anguiano and “Tinnitus y Fosfenos” at the Museo de Arte Zapopan. He was included in the Cannes Film Festival for the film “The Solitude of Memory” and was a guest at the Semaine de la Critique. Bará was the cinematogra-pher. The film also won in the Slamdance Film Festival. Select collections include: Sauro Collection (Guadalajara) and Sayago and Pardon (California). Bará currently lives and works in Guadalajara, Mexico.


Aldo Chaparro (Lima, Peru 1965)

Chaparro’s work is based on quick processes that involve close interplay with the material.  Aldo believes that the objects that result from the direct confrontation with the material are an evidence document depicting the process that transformed the material in an artistic object.  Chaparro is best known for his stainless steel, aluminum and wood sculptures, although he also works in other media such as wood, canvas, photography. Chaparro has a Bachelor's in Art from the Universidad Pontificia in Lima, Peru. He has exhibited across Latin America, United States, Europe and Asia. Select collections include: Perez Art Museum (Miami), The Jumex Foundation (Mexico), Simon de Pury (London), Helga de Alvear Foundation (Caceres, Spain), Cisneros Fontanis Art Foundation (Miami). He currently lives between Mexico City and Lima, Peru.


Juan Fontanive (Ohio, USA 1977)

Juan Fontanive's films are made without light. Using recycled materials from found clocks and pushbikes, the Cleveland-born artist creates hand-drawn "animations" on pulped card or metal leaves. Interested in the beauty of sequential and repetitive movement, Fontanive frames these cut-out figurative and textual characters in his concocted environments, giving his work the depth of sculpture with the movement of film. Fontanive studied at Syracuse and the Royal College of Art, and has shown his work in the United States, Brazil, and Europe--including solo exhibitions in London, Sao Paolo, and various cities in the United States. Fontanive currently lives and works in Brooklyn.


Ricardo Gonzalez (Mexico City, Mexico 1977)

Ricardo Gonzalez utilizes a limited palette, simplified mark-making, and sense of humor to explore the language of abstract painting. Mutinous figures with grimaces and smirks frequent Gonzalez's canvases, resulting from residual memories of childhood comics such as MAD, skateboard graphics, and teenage doodles, as well as 70's and 80's German painters. The paintings are a rediscovery of the artist's first interests in art, and celebrate the artist's hand, letting the process be transparent as well as allowing errors and chance. Their large scale makes the paintings objects of art and transforms these doodle-like images into purse shapes, paint, material, and process.

Ricardo Gonzalez received an MFA from New York University and his BFA at New England School of Art & Design in Boston, MA and Madrid, Spain. He has exhibited in numerous venues in New York, Boston, Miami, Berlin, Mexico and Belgium. Recent exhibitions include Asya Geisberg Gallery, New York, UNTITLEDx Miami with Asya Geisberg, Galeria Talcual, Mexico City, Traneudstillingen, Copengahen, Denmark, and Galeria W, Santiago, Chile. He is a recipient of the Martin Wong Scholarship Award in Painting.  Gonzalez currently lives and works in New York.

Alois Kronschlaeger (Grieskirchen, Austria 1966)

Alois Kronschalaeger's work sits at the intersection of art and architecture. Using surreal forms and simple materials, Kronschlaeger creates site-specific installations and sculptures that evince a particular interest in mapping time and space with shape and line. Referencing geometry but with a distinctly human touch, Kronschlaeger's environments highlight his thoughtful engagement of spatial relations. After studying at Empire State College and the School of Visual Arts, Kronschlaeger has shown his work in various venues throughout Europe and the Americas, and earned fellowships and prices from the New York Foundation of the Arts, ArtPrize and more. Born in Austria, Kronschlaeger now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Alberto López (Guadalajara, Mexico 1983)

Alberto Lopez’s work is based on the relationships between two or more aspects of life, explores various disciplines such as drawing, sculpture and installation to achieve and express the theoretical goal of his projects. Using introspection as the main theme of his work, he explores issues as well as the past, present and future, melancholy, geography, boundaries and borders. In 2007, he founded the art collective “Favorita”. He has individually participated in several exhibitions in Mexico, New York and Berlin. Lopez lives and works in Guadalajara, Mexico. 


Norman Mooney (Dublin, Ireland 1971)

Norman Mooney created sculptures, installations, and drawings that explore the elemental and cyclical synergies of natures. He investigates the varying properties, patterns, and scales of a wide array of materials ( smoke, glass, steel, and more) and forms, through sculpture, installation-work, drawings. In 2000 he founded WorkSpace11, a New York-based design studio that brings together architects and engineers for innovativee fabrication projects. Born in Dublin, Mooney studied at the Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork, the National College of Art in Dublin, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. He has shown his work in cities across the United States and Europe. He currently lives and works in New York City.


Mario Navarro (Tijuana, Mexico 1984)

The formal aesthetics and syntax of Mario Navarro stand as an alternative reference to certain classes of objects just as words do not “refer” to things themselves in Saussure’s theory of linguistics. Objects and architecture have meaning as points and conceptual significations within an entire system of relations as each and every element evokes a different idea, let’s say, than that of another class of objects in virtue of their literal properties. Navarro also creates a metaclass of language that questions both architecture and the way we look at it but in different terms. In this way, architecture is re-contextualized. Issues of perception, the combination of language and spatial elements, the sculptural properties of language, matter/materials and their representations are part of Navarro’s investigation. The relations between architecture and form, and more specifically, the decomposition of architectural paradigms (balance, symmetry, organization of units and the figure of the architect) are a constant interest and exploration in Navarro’s ongoing and never final propositions. His work belongs to collections such as The Petitgas Collection (London), Frances R. Dittmer Collection (Chicago), Sayago & Pardon (Los Angeles), ArtNexus (Bogota), Dieresis Collection (Guadalajara) and Fundación Colección Jumex (Mexico City). He currently lives and works in New York City.      


Ishmael Randall Weeks (Cusco, Peru 1976 )

Ishmael Randall Weeks is interested in the issues of escape and nomadic experience present in urbanization. Randall Weeks's work ranges from intimate explorations of current issues across the globe, through drawing as well as larger site-specific installations. Randall Week's installations utilize recycled materials and environmental debris found on site to create form sculptures and more complex architectural spaces. Born in Peru, Randall Weeks studied at Bard College and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; he has since shown his work at several museums and galleries in Europe, the United States, and Latin America. Randall Weeks currently lives and works in Peru. 


Alfredo de Stefano

Alfredo De Stefano photographs his composed installations in nature, particularly the desert. Engaging the landscape with both natural and man-made objects, De Stefano creates images that address our relationship to the surrounding environment. Born in Monclova, Coahuila—a city in the desert in Northeastern Mexico, De Stefano’s work has been exhibited in Mexico, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, Guangzhou and more. His works are notably included in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City, Mexico; Museo del Barrio, New York, NY and the FEMSA Collection.


Francisco Ugarte (Guadalajara, Mexico 1973)

Francisco Ugarte's work is inspired by architecture and the creative process--analyzing and responding to the environment. His site-specific interventions, video, sculpture and drawing are considered self-referential and phenomenological exercises that attempt to understand reality through perception and the essence of things. Ugarte's work has been shown in Mexico City, London and Madrid. Ugarte currently lives and works in Mexico.


Alexis Zambrano (Monterrey, Mexico 1987)

Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, Alexis Zambrano awakened an early interest in art through collecting. His interest soon grew into a life-long passion for not only collecting but also for creating it. By age twelve, Alexis fully immersed himself into the art world and started apprenticing with artists Aldo Chaparro, Juan Torres and Ximena Subercasauz while living in Mexico. Zambrano followed with a BFA in Architectural Design from Parsons the New School for Design, and has made New York City his home since 2008. In his first solo exhibition, Interior Artscapes, Alexis showcases his art by curating a series of pieces that compromises his ideal collections. Through a process that begins by collaging images from auction house catalogues and juxtaposing them in old European salons, the artist then paints his unique vision of collections that otherwise could never be enjoyed. His work is part of the Fundacion AMA (Chile) and Mauricio Fernandez Collection (Mexico). Zambrano currently lives and works in New York City.