Look Like Without Be includes an installation of sculptures, wall drawings, and a stop motion animation. Céspedes, who is based in Santiago, Chile, has populated the gallery with a series of sculptures depicting dogs, monsters, body parts, and human forms. Each work is cut from a flat piece of metal, and sits upon its own cast shadow made of black paper and a yellow ellipse representing a spotlight, evoking its own self-contained theatrical environment.
As the title simply states, these objects look like familiar objects without being them: they are flattened and simplified. Céspedes sees these sculptures as an extension of how space functions in painting: within one two-dimensional surface, the painter emulates figures, spaces, light, and shadow. Céspedes has cut-and-folded this illusion back into the third dimension.
Céspedes also engages the gallery space in a series of site-specific installation works. He has illustrated a false door onto the gallery wall as well as a faux-spotlit drawing. Another device Céspedes employs to shift the context of everyday objects is distortion of scale. For Look Like Without Be he has created a series of extremely oversized tee shirts, and an enormous dripping spot of paint on the wall.
In Look Like Without Be, as in his previous exhibitions, Juan Céspedes examines perception, science, human nature, and technology with a playful low-tech wit. Céspedes’ work has recently been exhibited at Maze Gallery, Turin, Italy, and the OR Gallery, Vancouver.