The work of Fabrizio Arrieta (Costa Rica, 1982) understands personal identity as an unstable value transmitted and forced upon us by many factors that reveal the impact of mass media in the construction, metamorphosis, and control of our self. Arrieta appropriates images from social media, fashion, and interior design magazines, transforming them drastically into colorful and semi-abstract canvases. These are, to some extent, the reflection of our times: how we act and relate to each other thanks to the internet and its effects on aesthetics, culture, and society.
Arrieta appropriates these images and their human order to create new references that lead us to generate more questions instead of giving us answers.
Focusing on technique, structure, and composition, the artist offers us an incisive and seductive work at first sight, but whose perverse games unleash a curiosity that persuades us to look for “another” image and its underlying narrative.
His paintings renounce the idea of totality, evidencing the fragments and the means that partake in the process of cutting, drawing, painting, and editing. In this way, Arrieta offers the viewer some clues about his exploration of painting and his connections to art history.
Arrieta works with recognizable elements, but the strangeness of the shape - as well as the combination and distortion of the figures - touch the limits of abstraction, transforming what is recognizable into something more significant, unsettling, and moving.
Arrieta's practice consists more or less of two distinct bodies of work, both dealing with the human figure. On the one side are his larger, sometimes massive canvases, featuring arrangements of often surreal formations. They draw upon celebrity group portraits and fashion shoots from glossy magazines, yet he alters them so that the sources are barely recognizable.
A highly sophisticated play with depth and dimension provokes questions about reality and illusion and suggests a highly ambiguous relationship between the viewer and the enigmatic figures depicted.
The other primary strand in Arrieta’s work comprises intense, close-up depictions of people’s faces on relatively much smaller canvases.
Who are these human-like creatures, and how are we supposed to relate to them? Are they perhaps representations of us - just hollow black holes? Are they mirror images of our vacant personalities that exist purely for aimless consumption?
His works speak about the complications of identity formation in a world saturated by images depicting and advertising unattainable levels of beauty, wealth, and lifestyles. His meticulous execution and how the works oscillate between art history and the here and now of painting make his work remarkable.
Fabrizio Arrieta lives and works in San José, Costa Rica.