Alejandro Cartagena’s name is everywhere these days. Just announced yesterday, he is on the list for PhotoLucida’s Critical Mass top 50. Today he was slated as a book finalist from CM50. An International Discovery at FotoFest in Houston , Alejandro has been highlighted on Joerg Colberg’s blog, Conscientious, PDN online, Lenscratch, a participant in Review Santa Fe, and the list goes on and on. He is also joining Taj Forer in Lishui China to showcase his work on Suburbia. I am excited to see how is work is viewed there. What will be the response to the social and economic similarities of expansion and population growth, how it affects their surroundings, and how fundamentally changed the environment becomes….
Here is Taj Forer’s statement about Alejandro –
Alejandro Cartagena’s ‘Suburbia Mexicana’ is both aesthetically beautiful and politically, socially and environmentally poignant. The work is timely, deeply personal yet globally relevant. Cartagena’s engagement of the real challenges the viewer to contemplate the timeless theme of how we dwell as a society (or collection thereof) with the natural environment. The fast-paced development examined by Cartagena through his photographs is not unlike many blossoming urban and suburban development projects currently found throughout China. The cultural challenges facing communities affected by such government-sponsored development initiatives is uncannily similar throughout the world. By focusing on his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, Cartagena turns his lens on the complex and nuanced global phenomenon most commonly referred to as “progress.” His vivid, straightforward, large-scale color photographs afford the viewer a moment to pause, experience and reflect upon the complicated and far-reaching implications of development. From issues of resource management to changing cultural values, Cartagena’s photographs delve into the newness and unknown realities of Mexico’s suburban expansion.