In partnership with Ric Michel Fine Art, for its inaugural exhibition 81 Leonard Gallery presents Cande Aguilar’s first solo show in New York. The retrospective charts the development of Aguilar’s vibrant artistic style barrioPOP. Inspired by the hybrid culture of Brownsville located in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas and using humorous juxtapositions of pop-cultural references the artist’s work celebrates the barrio in which he grew up.
On his canvases, Aguilar plays freely with (dis)guises and suggestive contrasts sampling imagery from comics, his daughter’s coloring books, and vintage video games combining them with local hand-painted signage, street art, and other markers of the urban environment. His work rhythmically unfolds a narrative where Mexican and American cultures are irrevocably connected highlighting that Mexican-American