Victor Malagon’s Over-the-Top Handstyles

by James ScarboroughPosted on

Victor Malagon‘s subject matter is baroque and ominous. The works are spiny, like prehistoric fish. These spines describe all manner of weapons: scimitars, long swords, and shivs. They are arrayed porcupine-like in centrifugal configurations – they look aerodynamic – as if the piece is about to go on a medieval spectacle of spin, hurl, and skewer. Each piece protrudes, seemingly, into our space. Your first reaction is to step back, and rightly so. To judge by the shapes, the compositions, and the ominous shadows they cast on the wall, these things pose a threat.

But then there’s the color: almost-cheerful blues, greens, yellow, and reds. The colors serve to tame the pieces, make them appropriate to, say, hang on a wall if not in a dungeon. The colors may mollify the viewer but the pieces are still unsettling.

If you look closely, you’ll also see that Malagon sneakily inscribes words in what would be the rib cages of these pieces: “Janelle” in one piece, “EDGE” in another. The most remarkable thing about Malagon’s work though is, contrary to visual evidence, these are flat objects. You wouldn’t necessarily notice that unless you looked at each piece from the side. But they are. The aesthetic makes sense in the context of graffiti art. Over-the-top calligraphy, the verbal and sculptural equivalent of an onomatopoeia.

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