Artist Statement Submitted 2020Peñafiel creates experiences about those on the underside of the world’s major conflicts: the migrant, the laborer, the surveilled. He draws the eye to odd angles that our world often intersects at — using sculpture, animation, video, and space to create disturbing reflections of the realities we participate in and witness every day. These unnerving views break us out of the desensitized lull that ongoing crisis creates.
Through visual references to German expressionism and the surveillance state, Peñafiel keeps the work inside a long term discussion about the turning gears of modernity and the alienation it continues to produce. The hidden peril of these destructive cycles lends urgency to exploring the history of how we got here, how we perceive what’s going on, and the hard truths of those who must face the darkest parts of the present.