His work exceeds commenting on the life he and his friends lead; it reveals his perspective as an empathetic observer of the cross-cultural social dynamics he is emersed in. He represents the social and political issues, like gentrification of urban neighborhoods and police corruption, through images and text, often boldly headlining the painting with these statements.
He utilizes exaggerated figures and outspoken graphics to express his feelings of isolation from society and mistrust of the law. Calderon subtly weaves a clever subtext into the image in other works, as seen in Hormigón armado, 2010 (“armed ant”), an abstract portrait of a homeless person named after the newspaper of street children of La Paz, Bolivia.
The typography he references is typical to South America, inspired by the pixação from Brazil and the tattoo style of the notorious Mara Salvatrucha; he also looks to the bright and bold style of traditional Bolivian weaving and craft, referenced in his color palette and patterns.
Although often dark and politically weighted, Calderon presents his work through a playful lens, using bright colors and overstated features of the subjects to add an element of satire to the artwork.
Exhibition Counterparts, 2012
Counterparts was a group exhibition at the prestigious non-commercial art space Forum Kunst Rottweil in Rottweil, Germany in 2012. It featured works by Hendrik Beikirch (DE), Luciano Calderon (CH/BO) and Nils Müller (DE) and was one of the most frequented exhibitions at the non-commercial art space, founded in 1970, that has established a reputation for exhibiting world-renowned artists throughout its 40-year history.
Luciano Calderon’s much anticipated first solo exhibition took place in 2011 in Germany. Generating hype online, Calderon showed drawings and large paintings at Ruttkowski68 in Cologne.