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Aggravated Surfaces
Warren Hoyano

Art Gallery of Mississauga, 2013


Located in the beauty of the marks on paper, the ecology of war, distress and mapping call us to view the works of Warren Hoyano in a different light. They appear overwrought with stains, marks, lines and repetition – surely these are the marks of any painter – however these works cause us to question the process, technique and conceptual approach of the artist. These works resemble landscapes caught in a language of abstraction as seen from above, and Hoyano makes direct gestures to the global atrocities of war. Through mapping and surveillance, we begin to think about how natural resources such as oil, timber, or gems have created a glimpse into the chaos of the 21st century – a time when the media saturates our daily lives with “war” imagery, implicating us regardless of whether or not we are directly affected. What is the relationship of war to those who have not directly experienced its effects, yet seek to actively engage as a sympathetic viewer?

Many of the works could be surveillance maps, where light and dark inkblots begin to shift our imagination beyond the Rorschach guessing game. By reminiscing on the strategies of power based on the commercialization and territorialization of sovereignty of our shared world crisis, the artist directs us to a complex political topic with the intuitive gesture of abstraction.