Alek O. was born in Buenos Aires (1981). She graduated in industrial design at Politecnico di Milano, Milan in 2005. She lives and works in Como, Italy.
Her practice blends notions of the readymade with craft, embroidery, painting and other traditional conventions of art making. Her choice of material indicates her personal interest in the re-use of everyday objects but also reflects the anecdotal significance of what she has transformed. Objects that are (re)used in her creations often have personal meanings: umbrellas used in a vacation to the beach, tables used in her family's house and sweaters worn by the artist are but a few of her compositional elements. Parasols, gloves found and collected by the artist and a wide range of other goods carry with them the stories of past owners and memories.
The initial appearance and the original visual presence of the object is stripped away. In its place comes an abstraction which verges from totalising – such as the artist's stretched woollen canvases – to recognisable – such as the outlines of animals. This abstraction, often strongly geometric, exists as a form on introspection on the part of the artist. At times the craft procedures that Alek O. implements can be both destructive and ennobling: an object with a history that is personal to the artist or a family history is voided and transfigured physically, but the memories and materials remain. This transformational attribute is also a mode of conservation. Objects that would otherwise have been discarded are re-invigorated and given new lives.
Recently, Alek O. has been experimenting with the tangram formation, a type of dissection puzzle where geometric pieces are used to create new shapes and appearances. Finished works are shown with their individual components visible and adapt a new and ofttimes recognisable visual structure. Disassembled parasols, cottons and other fabrics are reconfigured as wall hangings where negative space is implemented to outline various sections and the completed artwork itself.