Lyle Carbajal (RomancingBanality.com) has a relatively major show—“Romancing Banality”–coming up in October in New Orleans, where he currently lives. The installation that will be on exhibit—25 paintings and the recreated structure/exterior of a butcher shop in Mexico City–embodies many of the essential ideas about his work. He cites outsider art and primitive art as influences, though he’s not really a “primitive.”
The jagged textures and apparent artlessness of Carbajal’s paintings are manifestations of his work’s underlying origins, and the considerably more refined textures of his larger artistic aims and ongoing explorations. The artlessness is part of his strategy to strip away any superfluous aspect of the image, to focus on the line, which he believes is the essential element or default of visual grammar. Carbajal’s work may be fundamentally (if inadvertently) concerned with the status of beauty in contemporary art. Indeed, his type of art—visually raw, polymorphous, drenched in ideas and information, especially autobiographical minutiae—seems to question the need for beauty, even its validity as an element of art.