“His factory complexes look both fastidious and funky; his Manhattan skyscrapers are wrapped in a puff of cigarette-smoke smog. But any incipient sweetness is cut by unexpected touches.”
The New York Times
On exhibition for the first time will be photographic works from DeSouza’s new series, Cityscapes. The series was in development during the artist’s residency at Art in General in New York in 2008. The exhibit also features works from the Terrain series and is the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York.
Allan DeSouza has created peacefully disturbing landscapes that beckon us with an uncommitted familiarity only to reveal the unexpected with closer examination. The works spur an initial nostalgia that dissolves rapidly on discover of our misplaced authentication, the questioning of our belonging to them, and our basis for identification.
The photographs feature models that were created by the artist from the detritus of the body and the city. With sweat, floss, hair, earwax, electronic components, and discarded wood from the streets, DeSouza has created his “lands.” The result is sweeping barren desert dunes with warm earth tones, yet seemingly cold and deserted unearthly. The lands appear so familiar yet fictitious; cityscapes and sprawls, street grids, rows of skyscrapers. According to DeSouza, the photographs of his “fabricated tabletop landscape” models evoke strategies of fiction, masquerade and elusiveness in order to refute readings of authenticity. As the viewer discovers their misplaced perceptions, especially in regards to the cityscape works, they will come to understand how art today reveals that fiction is much closer to fact.
Allan deSouza was born in Kenya of Indian parents and raised in England. He was educated at the Bath Academy of Art in England and at Goldsmiths College in London. In 1992 he moved to the United States and continued his education in Critical studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York, then received his Masters of Fine Arts from UCLA (1997). deSouza’s work have been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions frequently across the US and England, as well as in Canada, Germany, Portugal and the Philippines. In New York his works were included in Out of India at the Queens Museum in 1997; Transforming the Crown at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1997. deSouza’s works have also been exhibited at Pompidou Centre, Paris; International Center of Photography, NY; Museum Kunst Palast, Germany; Museum for African Art, NY; Smithsonian Museum, DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Gwangju Biennale, Korea and 3rd Guangzhou Triennale, China; and in recent solo exhibitions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF; Fowler Museum, LA; Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL.Allan deSouza lives and works in the Bay Area, California, where he is a Professor in the Department of Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley.