Edison Peñafiel’s lens-based work is an exploration of marginalized experiences, focusing on migrants, laborers, and individuals under surveillance. Through immersive installations that blend photography, sculpture, video, and animation, Peñafiel sheds light on their multifaceted stories within prevailing power structures. His lens-based language draws inspiration from German Expressionism and surveillance influences, captivating viewers with distorted lines and evocative imagery that question oppressive forces and dehumanizing practices. These installations become catalysts for introspection, amplifying marginalized voices and fostering dialogue about the interconnectedness of human experiences through the lens-based medium.
Peñafiel is an alumnus of Oolite Arts and has been part of Mass MoCA and Anderson Ranch Art residencies, among others. His work has been presented at prestigious venues worldwide, including the Bass Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Sabrina Amrani Gallery, the Atchugarry Art Center, the Contemporary Art Center New Orleans, the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, and the Centro de Arte Universidad Nacional de la Plata. He has been honored with awards such as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant, the Florida Prize in Contemporary Art, and the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship in 2019. Additionally, he received The Ellies Creator Award and an Individual Artist Project Award from the State of Florida Division of Arts and Culture in 2021 and 2023.
Peñafiel is represented by Sabrina Amrani Gallery in Madrid, Spain.
During his residency at AiR 351, Peñafiel will be immersed in his latest project, “Barrio Alto,” a photographic series exploring the intricate relationship between real estate, construction, and socio-economic issues through studio-based photographic images. This project involves creating meticulously crafted dioramas made with cardboard, each depicting different scenarios that highlight the contrasting housing costs and construction between the United States and Latin America. Through the clever use of the title, “Barrio Alto,” Peñafiel aims to challenge viewers’ assumptions about social and economic status, prompting profound reflection on the broader implications of urban development and gentrification. The chosen medium of cardboard emphasizes the fragility of the structures, underscoring the significance of materials in shaping housing landscapes.
This residency is made possible with support from Oolite Arts.
This residency is made possible through the Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grant,
a program of South Arts.
With the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.