Challenging the flatness of the image | ALEJANDRO ESCOBAR



Drawing and painting have always been very important tools for me, creating images allows me to reflect on my ideas and also to share them with others.

Creating images by directly looking at nature is quite exciting but it is also an impractical process as it tends to require lots of time and a still model or landscape. Early in my career, I decided to embrace digital photography as the starting point to create my compositions; I saw them as guides that I could use to translate my thoughts onto the canvas.


Sola y peluda, Alejandro Escobar 2010


Editing this images in Photoshop, allowed me to push the composition in many directions whilst retaining elements from objective reality. Eventually, the complexity of the ideas I wanted to depict imposed a challenge to the physical limits of the flat canvas.

Four years ago, I started painting over metallic boxes and found object. This allowed me to explore painting over different shapes and after a while, I decided to explore 3D modelling software in order to create my own 3D models. At this point, I was also feeling that the flat canvas built in Photoshop, was becoming increasingly restrictive.

Lost Bullet, Alejandro Escobar 2014


The META-IMAGE / Object and Space

The restrictions imposed by flatness and geometric perspective systems vanished in 3D space. The flat image grew a third axis, it became malleable matter, beyond physical restraints and, unlike oil brush strokes, its structure remained fluid while retaining its integrity.

Screen shot, Alejandro Escobar 2016


The dissolution of the edges allowed it to flow through the emptiness until it blended with other images. This transmutable material leaded to the birth of a META-IMAGE; an object with the potential of also becoming a place.

In order to materialise this META-IMAGE, I had to put down the brushes and give sculpture a new try, this was a decisive point in my career as I needed to embrace a technique that I had tried in the past but failed to integrate within my practice.  Once the sculpture was finished, I painted the META-IMAGE over its entire surface.

As a physical object, the META-IMAGE invaded the viewer’s space and challenged the gaze by not allowing it to grasp the entire piece from a single point of view.

Landscape #13 hybrid installation, Alejandro Escobar 2017


Exploring Virtual Reality allowed me to place the viewer in three-dimensional digital space. Thanks to this technology, I was able to expand the scale of the META-IMAGE so the viewer could go inside, it became a place for the contemplation of endless pictorial expression on a massive scale.

Landscape #13 hybrid installation, Alejandro Escobar 2017


Expanded view

3D environments allowed me to explore visual reality in a way that comes closer to how I really experience it.

As a painter, digital technologies changed the way I contemplate, visually reflect and depict my experience of reality.

As a sculptor, they have expanded my understanding of materials and gave me enough confidence to start sculpting again..

As an artist, I am now able to combine traditional media with digital technologies to create hybrid installations that challenge the viewer’s perception whilst expanding the image through time and space.


More information: Alejandro Escobar