Alejandro Cardenas

Addressing contemporary global crises with surreal figures in sumptuous surrounds.

artist sat on desk chair in his studio with table of paints
photograph with masking tape and drawing to the left of it of a snake and triangle
artist holding and looking over a selection of works on his desk in his studio
5 images

Alejandro Cardenas is a multimedia artist who was born in 1977 in Santiago, Chile and now lives in Los Angeles, California.


Before pursuing an artistic career, he spent a decade working as lead textile designer and art director for luxury fashion band Proenza Schouler.


His sci-fi and surrealism-inspired works have appeared in prestigious publications such as Vogue, Another Magazine and The New York Times.

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Practice overview

Mysterious, humanoid figures pose in architectural scenes by Alejandro Cardenas. The artist’s graphic style unfolds across painting, drawing and sculpture, drawing influence from Modernism and Surrealism. Cardenas elaborates on personal memories and human behaviour, endowing in his figures an understated humour to explore emotion, memory and desire. Our relationship to nature is also key, symbolised by Minimalist interiors set alongside serene mountain ranges and oceans drawn from the landscape of Chile. Through this contrast of domestic and rural space, the compositions proffer a quiet but considered critique of humankind’s destruction of nature.

Cardenas reflects on societal and environmental events in his work. In 2020, the outbreak of Covid-19 and wildfires in California had a notable impact on his practice. Paintings and aluminium sculptures are rendered in the pale, mint turquoise of medical robes and face masks, and the majority of figures are alone - symbolising the social isolation of quarantine. With a flawlessly sharp intuition for design and composition, Cardenas offers playful and intelligent perspectives on life, nature and the human condition.

“There’s no beginning or end, it's just an ongoing process of asking questions.”Alejandro Cardenas