With these new paintings, Zamora captures the exciting randomness of a swap meet, which he visited every week while developing the work. In generating his subject matter, Zamora diligently observed vendors, documented the activity of buying and selling, and photographed objects, even going as far as re-staging displays and arrangements in his own studio.
“ I am interested in this idea of these people finding and selling these random things coming from the trash, the street, yard sales, estate sales - anywhere they can get things to sell, some valuable some not. The arrangement is very important. The dumping, and others meticulously leaning goods for sale on show. I have been documenting this particular action, set up. I love it, and its randomness is even more exciting.”
As a result of his process, Zamora creates a poetic play of recurring elements: objects appear and reappear, set in abstracted fields of color, representational spaces and patterned realms. Shaped and cut canvases rupture any illusionism, transforming the meticulously rendered surfaces into three-dimensional objects.
Zamora has chosen his elements carefully; a deep blue color, presented as abstracted fields, references the Tarpaulin used for shade and for display surfaces. A vivid flower pattern, lifted from an old, discarded sofa, takes on a transformed, heroic presence when presented as a painting’s center-stage subject. Figures appear in black and white, a direct reference to the photographic documentation the artist uses as his source imagery. Heavy application of white oil paint blocks out imagery; these empty, masked out spaces on the canvases allude to memory.
The artist says of his work: “Part of this is where the blocking of images and abstraction comes in. To move away from the actual object and only choose these partial reminisces of what was already forgotten. But what is the purpose of this? Is it to question, to forget, what are these things we are buying and looking for?”
In a society saturated with capitalist consumption, a constant and growing need for the latest, the newest, the updated, Zamora offers an alternative view, a poignant commentary on our cultural moment.
“I’ve spent a lot of time at swap meets. It is a desolate place but filled with life. It’s a place people gather to find things. The swap meet is a beautiful place, there is struggle, common interests, and the comfort of vendors knowing you and kicking you a deal. The honest feelings of common life.”