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Black Book Gallery is pleased to announce Rocket Man But Smooth Jazz Emoji (Here)®️™️, a solo exhibition by Denver-based artist Julio Alejandro. This one-night-only event will take place on Saturday, July 23rd from 7pm-11pm, and is free and open to the public. The artist will be in attendance.

For his fourth solo exhibition at Black Book Gallery, Alejandro embraces one of his longtime obsessions—the archaic deities known as Annunaki and Nephilim. These creatures are described in ancient Middle Eastern religious texts—including the Bible—as “sons of God.”

In early Sumerian and Babylonian mythologies, these deities have been linked to both the heavens and to the underworld. In some scriptures, they’re described as giants who walked the earth, cavorting among mere mortals and even reproducing with human women. More recently, the Annunaki have inspired extraterrestrial conspiracy theories—based predominantly in the literary veins of speculative and science fiction.

Alejandro mines the rich history of these “sons of God” in his latest series, composed of paintings on canvas and wood panels, as well as works on paper. In his signature art brut style, the artist envisions these mythological figures as chimeras—combining angelic yet primitively-rendered wingspans with manic warrior personas and absurdly-grinning visages. The resulting compositions are both horrifying yet playful—invoking the “terrifying child” or enfant terrible legacy. Alejandro channels his frenzied and unbridled artistic energy onto the canvas, becoming a vehicle for divine revelation via pagan exaltation.

Existing simultaneously in the past, present, and future, Alejandro’s work references modern masters like Picasso, urban expressionists such as Basquiat, as well as his contemporary peers, including Robert Nava. And yet, Alejandro’s pantheon of deities includes a cast of pop culture characters that reflect his own artistic identity, achieved by remixing contemporary cultural signifiers, icons, and materials into his visual lexicon.

Marvel heroes and cartoons, modern-day logos, anime, spray paint, and other aesthetic nods to 21st century subcultures are interwoven throughout the exhibition. Just as emojis have become the universal hieroglyphics of the post-internet era, Alejandro’s art reminds us that our present-day selves are, in essence, not so different from our prehistoric ancestors.

Born in Juarez, Mexico in 1991, Alejandro moved to Denver with his family in 1993. His work has been exhibited across the US and is held in important private collections both domestically and abroad. For more information, or to preview available works, please contact the gallery.