Despite I disagree with the interpretations art conditioned by its time, Alejandro Lawson’s drawing notebooks (aka his “flight lifebooks”, according to the name he gave them) require a context.

I knew Alejandro when he was very young, in an outbreak of teenage rebellion. He was 15, he had overdone it and dropped out high school. He questioned everything. He said ‘to hell with this’ and left home to seek refuge with his cousin Mercedes in her big house of Flores neighborhood, in Buenos Aires city, where I lived, where art and politics were made.

That corner in Rivadavia and Bolivia, in the early 1980s, was the meeting place for artists, students, activists against the Argentine dictatorship, but, as you will see in the following pages, it was a place where the discomfort of a young man that couldn’t stand oppression nor censorship became something else.

Through that house/workshop circulated information about the art made beyond the country’s borders and the resistance to dictatorships in the rest of the continent.

Alejandro was extremely sensitive. Upset. Emotional. He made all the experiments he could in that house. There he knew the work of the Peruvian artists who, in 1979 in the Barrancos neighborhood of Lima, had organized Contacta, a Total Art Festival, inspired by the work with garbage, waste and conceptual clarity. Beyond the Dadaist and Pop art, it discussed consumption from the radical recycling, energy and life of the objects thrown to the streets, to the roofs of the city.

I don’t recall Alejandro taking art classes, but he did have an interest in the work of those groups, i.e. the photographic documents portraying the actions of Parentesis and Huayco. In times where communication and transportation from one place to another were different, Alejandro, in that corner in Flores, met the Peruvian art and the notebook of the Swedish sculptor Claes Oldenburg (1929-), perhaps the reference of what would be developed with the despair and passion seen in the following pages, now edited and designed by Alfredo Baldo.

Alejandro redacted, sketched and wrote his logs in ballpoint, in black and blue ink pens, his school supplies. There are all types of graphics and lettering. They are the graphic exhibit of his ideas, his projects, his intimacy and his interest in physics, darkness, brutality, the ghastly and the terrifying. Everything under the shape of transparent, childish strokes. Because there’s nothing to hide in that performance in which Alejandro pulls rabbits out of a hat. Far from the good, the pretty and the cheap, the loving depth of the bad appears there, and the taste of the ugly, the certainty that our most expensive possession are words and the ways of drawing them.

His notes name materials, scale and teasing intentions. A mental drawing, a reflection of its author, nightmares of a crazy man on the couch, but also art from psychiatric hospitals, prisons, Art Brut and the use of hallucinogens. Let’s rejoice with the publishing of these “lifebooks”, a ghastly journey to the grotesque of someone who never intended to be an artist. An invite to draw sensations like a child. A theatrical approach that performs the scenes of the famous and the bourgeois of Buenos Aires of that time. A testament of their existence.

Fernando “Coco” Bedoya, Buenos Aires, December 2021

Fernando “Coco” Bedoya Torrico (Borja, Amazonas, 1952), Peruvian painter and engraver based in Argentina since the late 1970s, is a key character between the conceptual experiences of artistic activism in Peru and Argentina. His work can be seen in


I came into this world on July 24th 1964 at 1:35 AM in Capital Federal, Argentine Republic.

I wrote my first logbook when I was 14, in 1978, the Years of Lead during the military dictatorship in Argentina.

When I started this work, which kept me busy until 1987, when I left Argentina for a 20-year trip at the age of 23, the logs were sort of an alloy of drawings, ideas, stories of strange dreams and even some inventions.

They also included cut-and-pasted drawings, previously made on other paper mediums. The following logs achieved a little neater dynamic, but the purpose was the same: to portray the enormous amount of visions and ideas that kept coming to my mental screen.

Although I don’t consider myself a good artist, whenever I tried to portray those images, this came a lot easier, to the point I amazed myself with the resulting quality.

When I was 15, a candle on my desk caused a fire in my bedroom, I was drunk and high and the smoke and the fire woke me up. Luckily, I was able to soak a towel with water and managed to put out the fire by overlapping. Log N° 1 suffered burns but none of its contents were lost. Then, logs 2, 3 and 4 followed, in which I had a severe burst of imagination, visions and suggestions coming possibly from the thoughtsphere, some of the astral planes and specially the oneiric plane and obviously the influence of master plants from which I was learning at the time (I’m talking about cannabis, mescaline and my great friend and leader, the Mescalito).

The raw instrumental psychedelic music of the early Pink Floyd albums and the ambient music of Philip Glass, Robert Fripp, Brian Eno and Jon Hassell also provided me tons of sensory images, facts and artistic acts of all kinds, sometimes hyperfast and frantic, not always easy to freeze in mental images to be drawn later.

At the same time, I crafted many pastel and charcoal paintings and sculptures in different materials and techniques that I learned from my teacher Fernando Bedoya, who was married with my cousin Mercedes.

In April 1987 I left for a trip with a Pan Am ticket. It was supposed to last one year and ended up lasting 20, until my return to Argentina in 2008. Some weeks before I left, I made copies of the 4 logs in case the originals, which I kept in Argentina for 21 years, were lost in my absence.

And thus, in 2021 I finally decided to take action and publish my whole work, both the logs and the drawings and sculptures that survived time. My current aim is to take requests to make the works described in the logs, with the sizes and materials the requester wishes. A customized work.

Alejandro Lawson

Martínez, Province of Buenos Aires.

Friday January 28, 2022.

Logbook 1

Logbook 2

Logbook 3

Logbook 4


My current aim is to take requests to make the works described in the logs, with the sizes and materials the requester wishes. A customized work.