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Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, the machinist leninist forest, 2013, acrylic and charcoal on paper, 63 x 78 3/4".

Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa

Clages

Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, the machinist leninist forest, 2013, acrylic and charcoal on paper, 63 x 78 3/4".

“I am a good man, I always tell the truth,” says the Spanish artist Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, and he’s not being ironic. Yet he’s fully aware that to tell the whole, actual truth—expressing the reality of things just as they are—is impossible because it would require transcending the limitations of language. The fundamental dilemma addressed in Agirregoikoa’s work, then, is how to express the truth given the inherent limitations of communication. Agirregoikoa’s “truths” take the form of somewhat cryptic aphorisms, often blending historical references with language reminiscent of political slogans. These were initially spelled out on large, colorful banners: GOD BLESS YOU VIOLENCE, reads a work from 2006; CENTRO CULTURAL GOËBBELS, proclaims another from the same year—messages that are deliberately demonstrative, a rabble-rouser’s rallying cries, but also, crucially,

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