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A Present Lens: The Art Portfolio of Edgar Arceneaux

A sugar-coated book in a display boxThe Crystal Paradox

Edgar Arceneaux is an artist originally from Los Angeles. In his current practice, Arceneaux works in performance and media, as well as drawing and sculpture, exploring events of the recent past through a present lens that’s sometimes political and sometimes personal.

A document partly covered in sugar crystalsThe Crystal Paradox


Arceneaux’s recent work The Crystal Paradox is a good example of the way that the artist looks at history. In this installation piece, the artist has grown sugar crystals over documents and texts that tell the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s attempts to cause progress during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.


As media, sugar crystals have both a rigid, crystalline structure, and a tendency to grow into organic, unpredictable forms – these seemingly divergent qualities reflect on the idea that even something as rigid as societal views on civil rights and morality can grow into something new, given the right impetus.

An installation featuring some books covered in sugar crystalsLibrary of Black Lies

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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