Arturo Kameya: Los Ovnis

Press release

GRIMM is pleased to present Los Ovnis, a solo exhibition of new works by Peruvian-born, Amsterdam-based artist Arturo Kameya opening at 54 White Street on March 24, 2023. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition at GRIMM’s New York gallery.

Los Ovnis translates to The UFOs, a reference to communal feelings of alienation and otherness explored in Kameya’s newest body of work. The exhibition title also refers to the dramatic increase in UFO sightings since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, a nod to how perceptions during tumultuous times can affect representations of memory and truth, a prevalent and recurrent theme in the artist’s work. Kameya captures Peru’s sociopolitical complexity through an image mining of parallel cultures and events from his adolescence in the 1990s through today. In his new paintings, images with various thematic frameworks are interwoven to create constellations that question the plasticity of history and underscore the instability of the future.

Depictions of internet cabins occupied by adolescent gamers, seemingly devoid of meaningful aspirations, converse with scenes of onlookers near a sizzling Pyro Tower in a landscape with numeric markings, a reference to land trafficking. The quick and subtle uprisings of these subcultures and their temporal fragility, how easily they can be forgotten, signify broader existential concerns. For Kameya, memories of the past and inquiries into contemporary culture can offer a roadmap to an uneasy future.

The exhibition culminates on the lower-level gallery with a fountain installation containing a consistent beer flow, which was first presented in the 2022 Busan Biennale We, on the Rising Wave. The installation melds imagery related to Peru’s football culture, and its inherent beer swilling, with Catholic iconography, to create a cross-section of religious and popular culture. Meaningful characterizations of the artist’s home country are best found in the common and sometimes mundane natures of its overlooked communities.

About the artist

Arturo Kameya (b. 1984 in Lima, PE) attended the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru in Lima (PE) and was a resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (NL). Kameya's work was recently presented in We, on the Rising Wave, Busan Biennale 2022, Busan (SK) and Soft Water Hard Stone, the fifth New Museum Triennial, New York, NY (US) in 2021.

Solo exhibitions include En esa pulga se mezcla nuestra sangre / In that flea, our blood mixes, GRIMM, New York, NY (US); Drylands, Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht (NL); No one knows the world, Art | Basel Miami Positions (online), GRIMM Amsterdam (NL); Grandma’s Cooking Recipes, GRIMM, Amsterdam (NL); Depósito de Sombras, Alliance Française, Lima (PE); Allá en el Caserío, Acá en el Matorral (with Claudia Martínez Garay) Ginsberg Galeria, Lima (PE); Ghosts Don’t Care if You Believe in Them, Hotel Maria Kapel, Hoorn (NL); Ghost Stories, Alliance Française, Lima (PE); Ciencia Ficción, Wu Gallery, Lima (PE); Land at the End of the Sea (with Claudia Martínez Garay), Galería del Centro Cultural Británico de San Juan de Lurigancho, Lima (PE). The artist's work is part of numerous collections including the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection (US); ING Collection (NL); Saastamoinen Foundation (FI); and Xiao Museum of Contemporary Art (CN).