Edgar Arceneaux (by Katie Grimshaw)

Edgar Arceneaux

Born in Los Angeles

MFA from CalArts (California Institute of the Arts)

BFA from Art Center College of Design

Common Mediums: drawings, sculptures, installations, films, photography and sculpture

Drawing of Removal: Started in 1999, first performed in 2002 in New York at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Dozens upon dozens of drawings were exhibited on gallery walls.  “Working in the exhibition space as a live studio, he repeatedly made, erased, redrew, scored, cut up, and reassembled the pencil on paper and velum images in a process designed to both mimic and provoke the mechanics of recollection.” [1]


Borrowed Sun– 2004 performed at The Kitchen in New Work, Arceneaux intertwined meditation involving astronomer Galileo, musician Sun Ra, and artist Sol Lewitt, all major cultural figures. The piece read their astronomical/religious/musical/racial/conceptual systems against one another’s. The differences were accompanied by large charcoal drawings, sculptural elements including glass discs and a minimalist wall of cinder blocks, 35mm slide and 16mm film projections. The effect of mixed media allowed for a blend of artistic process, philosophy, science and pop culture.


The Alchemy of Comedy Stupid– Debuting in 2006 with actor David Alan Grier based around the performance of awkward comedy skits. These introspective routines were performed among a number of audiences and venues. “Shot under various lighting and compositional conditions, the resulting videos are presented on separate screens in the gallery (amid drawings and works on paper) in a complex geometrical array whose arrangement and palette turn out to be based on classic alchemical processes. The alchemists, Arceneaux recently noted, believed that their practice brought about changes not just in the objects of their experiments, but in the experimenters themselves; it is an observation that lies at the heart of both the work of the comedian and, in Arceneaux’s transfigurative practice, the artist as well.” [1]


Watt’s House Project– Began in 1996 the project, the project is an artist-driven urban revitalization project centered on the historic Watts Towers, the Watts Art Center, and a strip of property on 107th Street. Aided by Rick Lowe of the Project Row Houses movement collaborated to provide a rent-to-own, aesthetic and sustainability based neighborhood aided by its residents. Located in South Central L.A. Arceneaux has collected over $100,000 in donations by means of fundraising, worked alongside 20 other artists and 20 architects to rectify 20 homes. The homes are located alongside the well-known Watt’s Towers of Santa Monica. A giant Heart shaped sculpture sits on the rooftop.

Interview with Portland State University and KPSU’s “Art Talk” http://www.art.pdx.edu/media/edgararceneaux.mp3

Work Cited:

[1] http://whitney.org/www/2008biennial/www/?section=artists&page=artist_arceneaux

[2] http://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/detail/exhibition_id/32

[3] http://hammer.ucla.edu/residencies/detail/residency_id/1


1 Comment

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One response to “Edgar Arceneaux (by Katie Grimshaw)

  1. Joan Lawry

    Bik Van Der Pol
    speaks out for public space, and free speech.

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