Patterns form shadows.
Lines breed recognition.

Thread manifests humanity.

In Layers, Eugenia Alcaide traces the contours of one’s interior landscape and untangles the complexities of identity.

Alcaide’s precise line artwork cast intricate and ever-shifting networks of shadows, suspended in layers within lightboxes. As she returns to her craft, however, she departs from her predominantly monochromatic practice, weaving color into each composition.

Each gossamer layer—a patchwork of patterns, textures, and color—gradates towards something more concrete, more palpable, something with a core. Yet, its outlines remain elusive, escaping the viewer with the slightest movement, the slightest shift in light.

Alcaide is fascinated with all that is and happens beneath the surface and interrogates the relationship between what is truly seen and what can only be gleaned when one beholds another. Central to one’s navigation of various topographies of identity is, according to the artist, “the manipulation of layered transparencies”. And so, she combines the arts of collage and embroidery, employing both chance and calculation to create “planes of existence where the impossible can happen”. Faces are fractured, twisted, and made illegible—their intricacies exposed and illuminated, as Alcaide questions the idea of singularity.

Layers captures the abiding spirit of Alcaide’s fifteen-year practice: play. A process marked by spontaneity and guided by instinct, Alcaide’s art-making is most informed by age and circumstance. As the artist returns to her art, a longing to feel like a child once again permeates the variegated composition of each portrait. Through the creation of assemblages of disparate forms, Alcaide generates new wholes—an act that signifies both a return and a renewal for the artist whose exposure to art began with collage and now stretches the seams toward new dimensions.

Text by Gabrielle Gonzales