• Simón Vega, Tropical Mercury Capsule, Wood, metal roofing sheet, recycled materials, found objects, light, live plants. 250 x 140 cms. 2012. Courtesy the Artist.

    Simón Vega
    Tropical Space Castaways

    February 25–June 30, 2024

  • Simón Vega, Tropical Space Suits, 2019-2022. Second hand ‘Aloha’ shirts, textiles, patches, repurposed painted motorcycle helmets, bamboo structure. Dimensions variable. Courtesy the Artist.

  • Simón Vega, Astronaut Blues, Acrylic on canvas. 110 x 140 cms. Blueprint Series. 2017. Courtesy the Artist

Salvadoran artist Simón Vega creates drawings, objects, sculptural installations, and happenings inspired by the self-made informal architecture, local market stands, and vendor carts found in the streets and beaches of Central America. These works, assembled with wood, cardboard, plastic, metal, and found materials include transmutable elements, colored lights and live plants and parody Mayan pyramids, Modernism’s iconic buildings, and sleek, cutting-edge technological advances such as NASA space crafts. With his work, Vega examines the lasting effects of colonialism and the Cold War in Central America, and parodies disparities between first and second-world cultures, economies, and social experiences. The work retains a sense of humor, guiding the viewer through a thought-provoking experience of art, politics, and history. At the Parrish, Vega will present Gemini Duplex Chanti Capsule, Tropical Mercury Capsule, crafted from repurposed roofing sheets, toys, and other objects, and Tropical Spacesuits, made of recycled Hawaiian shirts, as well as a photography series documenting his largest sculpture to date, Palm 3 World Station, for greater context of his sculptures. The artist will also create a rover with found materials from the Museum’s surrounding area.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Vega will be working closely with the Museum’s education department on various workshops with nearby participating schools. Throughout this process, Vega will be creating projects with the students and have a final project to present at the end of the workshop series. Vega will be presenting his practice and reporting on his time here on the East End in public programming organized around Tropical Space Castaways.

In a special partnership with the Parrish and leading up to the exhibition, Vega will be artist-in-residence at Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio, an artist residency for Black, Indigenous, and other artists of color on the Shinnecock Indian Nation, founded by artist Jeremy Dennis.

Simón Vega: Tropical Space Castaways is organized by Corinne Erni, Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator, Art and Education and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and Martha Stotsky, Deputy Director of Arts Education, with additional support from Kaitlin Halloran, Assistant Curator and Publications Coordinator, Brianna L. Hernández, Assistant Curator, and Casey Kleister Meyer, Education Programs Manager.

Exhibition Support
Simón Vega: Tropical Space Castaways is generously supported by Mario Cader-Frech, founder of Y.ES Contemporary, whose mission is to create opportunities for outstanding Salvadoran contemporary artists to advance their artistic practice and engage with artists, curators, collectors, gallerists, and the media within and outside El Salvador.

We are also grateful to Catherine Carmody and Fowler’s Garden Center for their in-kind support.

The Parrish Art Museum’s programs are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and by the property taxpayers from the Southampton School District and the Tuckahoe Common School District.

About Simón Vega
Born in El Salvador in 1972, Simón Vega graduated in Fine Arts at the University of Veracruz in Mexico in 2000 and received a Master´s degree in Contemporary Arts from the Complutense University in Madrid in 2006. He has exhibited his work extensively in Europe, the United States and Latin America, including the Pérez Art Museum of Miami (PAMM), the 55th Venice Biennial in Italy (2013), the IX Havana Biennial in Cuba (2006), the Museo del Barrio’s “The S-Files” in New York (2011) and at the Hilger Brot Kunsthalle in Vienna, Austria (2010-2017), amongst others. The Museum of Contemporary Art & Design of Costa Rica (MADC) presented his first museum solo show in November 2016. His work is included in important public and private collections such as the Pérez Art Museum of Miami, Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo de Costa Rica, the Sanziany Collection at Rasumofsky Palace in Vienna, and El Museo del Barrio in New York. He lives in La Libertad, El Salvador.