Manuel Acevedo

[CUT OFF, 27' x 6' Black & white masking tape and Flashe paint, elmuseo@SVA (SVA Chelsea Gallery)]

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Made and Unmade, 2016

Flashe paint, black and white masking tape and latex painted walls, Dimensions Variable


My interest in military language developed as a consumer of American media during times of war. I found the overt use of metaphors, acronyms and abbreviations associated with military operations both deceptive and alluring. Within an urban context, I could identify with both the functional and stylistic use of coded language.

Many military terms, I found, were as relevant on the street as they were on the battlefield.I n these murals, I play with the geometry, pattern and optical phenomenon to imitate architecture and spatial perspective. It is intended to entice, tempt and sometimes disrupt the viewer from reading words like, DECOY, CUT OFF, BUG OUT and GLORY. Despite trickster nature of this work, it also acts as a way to open the doors of communication and discovery with others. The cryptic language that sometimes keeps us apparent, can brings us together for truth is relative.

Inspired by the Military Dictionary of Terms, I’ve created a journal of words from the letters A-Z (92 pages) that include sketches for future wall drawings combined with 1980’s-era graffiti ciphers. Drawing from both the military and graffiti practice of encoding, I examine how the use of text is altered and manipulated in the construction of histories.

Artworks by Manuel Acevedo

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