Born in Bogota, Colombia, of Indigenous descent, yet raised in the United States, Pete Hoffecker Mejía’s work assembles indigenous patterns of the Americas, retail and home décor motif, and Modernist geometric abstraction, to explore the intersection of contrasting cultural influence, the mediation of identity, and conflation and caricature in the representation of ‘otherness’.
The often colorful, found item and wooden structures investigate the blurred points of contact resulting from estrangement, while also looking at global cultural interaction and the continuing impacts of colonialization.
He received a Bachelor in studio art from the University of Memphis and is currently at Indiana University where he is an associate instructor while pursuing an MFA in Sculpture.
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, of indigenous ancestry, adopted by a multi-racial family and raised in the United States, I have naturally been consumed with issues of culture and identity. This interest in identity is intertwined with the interrogation of seemingly monolithic histories, and the mediation of relational self.
Pulling from a background in carpentry and store display; architectural framing and merchandising techniques merge with a decidedly modernist formal language. The combined interests in indigenous art, geometric abstraction, and representations of ‘otherness’ in consumer culture are assembled to explore the intersection of disparate cultural influence. The amalgamation of these elements works towards creating a subtext which explores global cultural interaction, mediation of identity, and conflation and caricature in the representation of otherness.
A special attention to the pattern is iterated throughout the work. This is enhanced by an exaggerated, and almost plastic, a color palette which permeates, yet is softened, and offset by the natural character of the wood. The works adhere to, and at times disrupts the grid. The use of layering and multiplicity is employed to create a fragmented totality. The composite structure acknowledges derivation from indigenous visual sources, while also remaining strongly suggestive of Modernist geometric abstraction, retail clothing, and faux indigenous home décor motif. It also becomes a record of blurred references and codified symbols alluding to fragmented and conflated histories.
Combining these traditions that share visual similarities, but are culturally dissimilar, and forging congruous and incongruous connections between them, allows me to identify and give identity to my own perceptual bearing. This also allows me to make work that explores the blurred points of contact resulting from estrangement while touching on our complicity in the conflated representations of ‘otherness’ in mass culture.
It permits me to create a critical space to examine art, culture and the boundaries between them.