Oscar Contreras Rojas

1986 · Mexico

Artist biography

Born in 1986 in Toluca, Mexico, lives and works between Florence and Venice.

He graduated at the painting course of the Fine Arts Academy of Venice, Italy and then he completed a M.A fine arts exchange in Middlesex University, London, UK.

He was a finalist in the prestigious Premio Cairo 2019 - Milan.Oscar Contreras Rojas is seen as an emerging artist, who was born and brought up in Mexico, like other celebrated artists such as Angélica Argüelles Kubli, Julia López, Tanya Aguiñiga, Carlos Larracilla, and Natasha Malherbe.

About Oscar Contreras Rojas' works

Oscar Contreras Rojas is known for working in the fields of Figuration and Expressionism work. Figurative art has been around since the earliest stages of visual arts, and involves any form of modern art which references the reality or the human body, in opposition to Abstraction. Figurative art embraces a substantial amount of styles, thus remaining a truly pioneering and radical category in which artists created critically acclaimed masterpieces, such as Pablo Picasso’s painting Les Demoiselles D’Avignon, or Paul Cézanne’s The Bathers.

Expressionism can often be considered more as an international tendency than a coherent art movement, which was predominantly significant at the beginning of the 20th century. It covered various fields such as art, literature, music, theatre and architecture. Expressionist artists wanted to express emotional experience, rather than physical reality. Famous Expressionist paintings include Edvard Munch’s The Scream, Wassily Kandinsky’s Der Blaue Reiter, and Egon Schiele’s Sitting Woman with Legs Drawn Up. Expressionism is an intricate and grand term that has meant different things at different times. However, when we speak of Expressionist art, we tend to consider the artistic tendency which emerged as a reaction to Impressionism in France, or the movement which emerged in Germany and Austria in the early twentieth century. The term is so flexible that it can be representative of artists ranging from Vincent van Gogh to Egon Schiele and Wassily Kandinsky.

Further Biographical Context for Oscar Contreras Rojas

Born in 1986, Oscar Contreras Rojas was primarily influenced by the 1990s growing up. In the United Kingdom, a collective of artists known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists, dominated the artistic culture of the decade. They were a loosely affiliated and diverse group, connected generally by their age and nationality. A number of the members had attended the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths in London, and were favoured by Charles Saatchi, the ‘super collector’ of art at the time. The most well-known member of the group is arguably Damien Hirst, and other members included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Johnson (née Sam Taylor-Wood). Through their use of shock tactics and sensationalism, the YBAs gained a divisive public image which was further fuelled by their use of throwaway materials, wild lifestyles and an attitude that was at the same time rebellious and entrepreneurial. The group was predominant in the British art scene in the 1990s and their group show ‘Sensation’ is now viewed as legendary.

Relational Aesthetics, a term coined by curator Nicholas Bourriaud to describe the act of making art based on human relations and their social context, became a leading idea in the 1990s. Works by artists such as Douglas Gordon, Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parenno and Liam Gillick were described as key artists who worked to this outline.

The boom in consumerism and advertising that took place in the 1980s influenced a trend in Japan that developed into the art form of manga, which was visually inspired by trends in advertising and graphic design. Takashi Murakami arose as a leading figure in the art world, coining the term ‘Superflat’ to describe a theory inspired by the aesthetic characteristics of manga and the nature of post-war Japanese culture. Murakami went on to found the influential Kaikai Kiki collective, which was inspired by his experiences living in New York City in the mid-1990s.

German artists and ideas heavily influenced trends in conceptual photography during this period. German artists such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, and Wolfgang Tillmans gained major recognition, and inspired international artists such as the Canadian Jeff Wall, who created images with a cinematic expressiveness that were inspired by the themes represented in the German artists’ work. At the same time, Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger gained influential status in the field of painting.

The art world was influenced by a number of trends throughout the 1990s, the controversial, hyper-realistic sculptures of Maurizio Cattelan and the sensitive, conceptual work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres characterised the atmosphere of the era.

Oscar Contreras Rojas

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