Carbajal says he is interested in “bad painting, the way common people awkwardly draw everyday objects” and his work draws upon outsider, urban graffiti and nai¨ve traditions. At first blush, one might ask whether Carbajal just gets away with painting badly by trying to make bad paintings. But his work is smarter than that.
Carbajal seeks to create imagery that is conceived through its function. He creates images solely for the crude expression of an idea, to pass along a thought or emotion, much as one might jot something on a cafe´ napkin as an impromptu gesticulation and visual aid amid a lubricated conversation with a friend. An engaging goal.
The results are always crude, often unintentional and sometimes beautiful. Carbajal’s work may intimidate or even assault those accustomed to safe, clean, predictable environments. Taken individually, his paintings are foreign correspondent’s notes, tales of far-away places that are sometimes happy, sometimes disquieting. Surrounded by his work as one is in this exhibit, the viewer is embedded in that “far-away” place, which may be as near as the barrio next door –perhaps even our mind. So Carbajal’s work should also be reassuring to “common people”. It does not require great sophistication to be accessible. Its simplicity and raw emotion are palpable. His irreverent gestures evince a sense of immediacy –often a sense of urgency. Whatever it is, intentional or not, it just happened. YOU are an eye witness.
Carbajal believes there is nothing quite as beautiful as the unintentional. Whether rationalizing or quixotic, he seeks unintentional results, and he takes credit for all the accidents you witness here. Intentional or not his gestures evidence the immediacy of life as we live not as we plan it. It is precisely because Carbajal’s images are crude that they are believable. After all, the unintentional is inherently honest and often wonderfully surprising.'
- from Watching the Snakes Volute - CoCA, 2013 Joseph Roberts - Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle
Lyle Carbajal is an American born artist working in a style possessed of a primitive energy, as well as sophisti- cation of detail that’s incredibly diverse and unique. His work, which he calls Urban+Primitive, has been shown internationally, and associated with such organizations as The British Consulate in Los Angeles; Tennessee Public Television for the Arts, Center on Contemporary Art-Seattle; the Made in New Orleans program; and both a feature film and long running television drama.
Romancing Banality is his current traveling installation focusing on the social commentary of cultural and economic perception and their implications in contemporary art in which viewers are fully immersed into the environment of his subjects for a truly distinctive, engaging, multi-sensory experience that challenges perspec- tive and social beliefs. By inhabiting the city of upcoming exhibitions in advance, Carbajal creates a unique audience experience- a manifestation of experiences, people, attitudes, and perception- which is in a constant state of transformation as it evolves with each location simultaneously serving as both subject and muse.
Lyle’s mixed and colorful career, coupled with extensive travel, has seen him participating in a demestic PeaceCorp program working primarily in the southern United States while a professional member of the Tenncare Saves Lives Coalition, solving issues relating to Tennessee healthcare. During this time, he coor- dinated seminars with The Legal Aid Society in Nashville to ensure free and accessible legal information to senior citizens and also working with Vanderbilt University as a Federation Specialist, helping to raise over $800.000 for the Nashville community; The Tennessee Senior Games and the Martin Luther King Memorial in Memphis Tennessee.