I am an artist based in Los Angeles, California and my favorite early curitorial projects have included “Art Burn,” an art immolation, in Miami, timed to the city’s art fairs (2009); “Art Shred” a companion piece held in NYC, in which works by over two-dozen artists were destroyed (2010); and “Post No Bills,” a pop-up gallery at a Queens, N.Y. construction site, a piece that was covered in the New York Times (2008).
My intervention, “La Luz” (“The Light”), from 2012, consisted of a series of architectural installations inside the Qorikancha and the Museum of Santo Domingo, the former Inca temple in Cusco, Peru. In pre-Columbian times, the temple was sheathed in gold plates and its chambers filled with masterpieces of Inca metal work, pieces that were destroyed by the Spanish conquistadors.
My installation paid tribute to the past glories of this important site via the installation of hundreds of bottles of Peruvian soda (more than 600kg worth). The most popular local soft drinks in Peru are a brilliant yellow color and I used these, in combination with ambient light, to recreate the golden light that shone inside the temple. On the last day of the exhibition, the public was invited to take sections of the work home with them so that no traces of it would remain. The work was disassembled and distributed to Cuzco locals in less than an hour.
My work has been shown in galleries in the U.S. and some of my pieces have received coverage in outlets such as Time.com, ArtNews, The New York Times, the Miami Herald and the Art Newspaper.
Time describes the artist as "creative," "realistic," and "underestimated." The Art Newspaper described his 2009 show, “Art Burn,” an International contemporary art expo & immolation, as a “bonfire of the art vanities” and the Miami Herald declared it “a funky Basel sideshow.” The New York Times described his previous exhibition, “Post No Bills,” a street art gallery installation in Long Island City as “audacious.” The Brooklyn Rail describes El Celso as “a street artist with a taste for experimentation, a knack for making things happen and a predilection for drawing colorful naked women.” His figurative drawings, paintings and original works on Plexiglas were also the subject of a documentary series, “The Streets of New York,” which was broadcast on NHK in Japan in 2008. His work is also featured in numerous publications, street art books and media web sites.
Woodward Gallery, New York – April 2020
Durden and Ray, Los Angeles, California – January 2019
Moca, Los Angeles – September 2013
Woodward Gallery, New York – January 2013
Museo Convento de Santo Domingo Qorikancha, Cusco, Peru – August 2012
Museum of Sex, New York – February 2012
Woodward Gallery, New York – January 2012
Pandemic Gallery, Brooklyn, New York (solo) – March 2011
Art of Basketball, Miami, Florida – December 2010
Woodward Gallery, New York – May 2010
Barneys, New York – May 2010
Winkleman Gallery, New York – March 2010
Follin Gallery, New York (solo) – January 2010
Art Burn, Miami, Florida (artist/curator) - December 2009
Brooklynite Gallery, Brooklyn, New York – November 2009
AK-57 Gallery, New York (artist/curator) - September 2009
Gawker Artists, New York – August 2009
Artbreak Gallery, Brooklyn, New York – May 2009
Thinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles – January 2009
Factory Fresh, Brooklyn, New York (artist/curator) - November 2008
Gallerie Pulaski, Queens, New York (artist/curator) - July 2008
Lumenhouse, Brooklyn, New York – June 2008
Woodward Gallery, New York – May 2008
chashama ABC Gallery, New York (artist/curator) - April 2008
Ad Hoc Art, Brooklyn, New York – April 2008
ABC No Rio, New York – March 2008
Ad Nauseum, Harlem, New York – January 2008
SCOPE, New York – February 2007
Kingsborough Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New York (artist/curator) - June 2007
Pure Project, New York (artist/curator) - March 2007
11 Spring Street, New York – December 2006
Artists Space, New York – November 2006
Flux Factory, Queens, New York – October 2006
Bebe Benoliel Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – December 2005
80 Washington Square East Galleries, New York – February 2004
MoMA, New York – April 2002
PUBLICATIONS: How to Crowdfund Your Creative Project, Time.com (NY: 10/22/12); Las Calles Como Tela Para Pintar, CNN (NY: 07/27/12); Kola Stands in for Gold at Peruvian Temple, The Art Newspaper (LONDON: July/August 2012); Hoop Scoop, ARTnews (NY: February 2011); The Art of Destruction, ARTnews (NY: May 2010); Bonfire of the Art Vanities, The Art Newspaper (LONDON: 12/04/09); Precious Works Go Up in Flames for Art’s Sake, Miami Herald (FL: 12/03/09); Peep-o-rama, Time Out NY, (NY: 09/08/09); Construction Zone: Beware of Audacious Art, The New York Times (NY: 07/02/08); The Very Public Life of Street Art, The Brooklyn Rail (NY: May 2008); Street Art in Alphabet City, Village Voice (NY: April 2008); A Maze at Factory Fresh, ArtCat Zine (NY: November 2008); A Maze Slideshow, Village Voice (NY: November 2008); The Vandalism Vandal, New York Magazine (NY: 06/04/07); Don’t Hate, Collaborate!, Peel Magazine (NY: 06/1/07); The Street Art Show, Juxtapoz.com (NY: 06/05/07); The Alien Invader, Village Voice (NY: 03/13/07); Last Hurrah for Street Art, as Canvas Goes Condo, The New York Times (NY: 12/14/06); Small, but fierce, art, Metro (NY: 11/10/04); Lies, New York Press (NY: 10/27/04); Mano a Mano, Hoy (NY: 4/2/04); Soho’s Bold & Beautiful, Daily News (NY: 4/1/04); Adbusters Quarterly: Summer 1995, Vol. 3, No. 4.
BOOKS: Graffiti 365, Jay Edlin (2011); Stickers: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art, DB Burkeman/Monica LoCascio (2010); Untitled. I &II. Street Art New York, Jaime Rojo/Steven P. Harrington (2010); Street Art Counter Culture, Gary Shove (2009); Going Postal, Martha Cooper (2009); Street Art Cookbook, Benke Carlsson/Hop Louie (2009); This Means Nothing, Le Bijoutier (2008); Brooklyn Street Art, Jaime Rojo/Steven P. Harrington (2007); NYC BCN Street Art Revolution, Louis Bou (2006)
FABRICATIONS: September 2010, Aurora Robson, Brooklyn, New York; October 2004 Jenny Holzer & Lady Pink, Munich, Germany; August 2004 Jenny Holzer & Lancome, Paris, France; May 2004 El Museo del Barrio, New York
E-MAIL ME: celso [at] elcelso.com