Sunday, October 12, 2008
Pedro Alderete (1961-2005)
"I come from a culture of Yoruba in which tales of deities with their stories of warfare intertwined with love are passed down orally. I believe in an unconventional structure of aesthetics and perception in the works that I produce." As a multi-media artist Pedro used painting, collage, photo-transfers, found objects, sculptures, installations and performance to express his ideas. The works that Pedro developed over the years have been drawn from a variety of sources and inspirations such as Cuban religious iconography, Cuban tourism, snapshots, and various military photos as well as architectural schematics. He has built narratives based on daily life and social-political concerns, works that questioned the necessity of war not only as seen in the world but also that of human condition, ultimately with a gesture in attaining peace.
He died tragically on Monday October 17th, 2005, while putting finishing touches on a large scale mural of his own design, a five-part mural on the outside of a million-square-foot building for Downsview Park. The last section of the mural he was working on symbolized stewardship and included a portrait of his 5-year-old daughter. This was the largest commissioned work that he received in his career. In January 1999 he presented a show in conjunction with the Cuban graphic master Agustín Rojas, who lived in Toronto by then, to benefit the Cuban Canadian Foundation, an organization of Cuban exiles. He died at 44.