In this new series of works, Sparagana
exposes a unique underlying potential within found images through a process of transformation and juxtaposition. In recontextualizing their original physicality and intent—a new significance unfolds. Sparagana
typically utilizes common fashion ads—the images that are most prevalent in our everyday environment, which we identify with, compare ourselves to, and lose ourselves in. Each work is composed of images sliced into very long, thin strips, and then mixed and multiplied with different or identical ones. The works emit a bodily, skin-like quality that vibrates with saturated colors and seducing forms. The process of layering introduces an element of time that was formerly absent—its appearance pulsating and rhythmic, yet its narrative frozen and dramatized. The resulting forms are exaggerated and distorted, at times transformed into a state of abstraction.
By recycling existing magazine pages both the material substance and objective of the image is altered. Thus these beautiful, yet banal and pragmatic images assume a unique significance and become further fetishized, gaining a new and previously unknown meaning. In so doing, Sparagana
overrides their purely superficial nature and brings to light an innate truth. These works are replete with lyrical intent, rather than didactic, as Sparagana
shifts their identity from pure information to intricate poetry.
Sparagana was born in Rochester, NY and currently lives and works in both Chicago and Houston. He holds an MFA from Stanford University, CA, and is an Associate Professor at Rice University. He has participated in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally — both solo and group — in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Naples, and Edinburgh, amongst others. He was also the recipient of several prestigious awards including the National Endowment of the Arts, the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Cité International Des Arts, Paris. His work was recently acquired by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. Sparagana is currently working on a book in collaboration with the cultural critic and theorist Mieke Bal, which will feature 26 critical essays by Bal responding to 26 images from his Sleeping Beauty series (University of Chicago Press, Fall 2007).