b.1982 San Juan, Puerto Rico
Sebastian Vallejo's paintings describe the aesthetic relation between organic and inorganic forms and its visual and cultural implications. The paintings are inspired by the expansive and improvisational qualities that exist in nature and by the light and colors of the Caribbean where the light seems to radiate from almost any direction, "sometimes even from the ground". This is especially true in Puerto Rico, where Vallejo was born and raised. The materiality of painting amplifies light and form, and by extension, all natural phenomena it attempts to capture. The works make allusions to the classical Apollonian-Dionysian split, where presentation and negation, organization and disorder, become ever-present. The paintings deal with notions of beauty and the sublime by adopting and sometimes exaggerating Caribbean clichés and Romantic tropes in traditional painting—pushing the boundaries inherent in the genre of painting while simultaneously celebrating its history.