Oscar Rene Cornejo makes abstractions from excavated materials and images, imbuing them with cultural and historical cues. With a background in pedagogy and activism, Cornejo's socially engaged practice draws together histories of abstraction in the U.S. and Latin America with personal experiences of the construction site, family memory, and historical forgetting. His work is guided by an ongoing inquiry into citizenship, law, power, and sites of inclusion and exclusion.
Cornejo is concerned with displacement and resilience, especially as they manifest themselves through memory and quotidian objects. His sculptural paintings oscillate between poetics and politic as he threads together historical narratives which have been fragmented by institutionalized and systematic violence. In his combines and modular prints, Cornejo reconciles fragments of history (both personal and national) to activate narratives of the Central American diaspora. Cornejo explores the conflict between the memory of civil war and how it is taught; the breaking of these narratives is a social condition that shapes the lives and concerns of many first-generation Salvadoran artists working in response to their parents' civil war.