Last days for Oscar Murillo’ solo at Marian Goodman: an easy software for a functional hardware


According to the introductory text provided by the gallery, the surprising Oscar Murillo’s solo (until July 18) is the result of the artist’s interest in “the meanings behind object-making outside of artistic production”. In this case the “makers” are some working-class Colombians preparing the Feria de Cali. The show is focused on what they create in anticipation of this leisure activity typical of the city of Cali, Colombia.


Unfortunately what exactly these people have done remains unsaid and the text also doesn’t mention anything specific regarding the “collaborations” between “incongruous social groups” that Murillo has promoted. It follows that it is not possible to grasp the real origin of each single piece on exhibition, a distinguishing element of all these artworks. The beholder is only aware that they are the result of a certain artist’s interest: the labour that people invest in not-working activities.


If this is enough to justify the extraordinary success Murillo has been having at auctions lately is hard to say. On one side the 28-year-old Colombian artist’s art practice is nothing new, and neither the way he links form and information. After all, how many artists did we see thinking in the same way Murillo does? On the other side however, it has to be said that Murillo’s aesthetic instinct is as easy and pleasant as his sources, and that is probably what is making him so successful. Hence, don’t ask yourself what it stands for, but how it looks like.


Some additional infos provided by the gallery don’t seem to change the matter. The pencil drawings placed here and there are verbatim copies of photos of faux-antique objects Murillo has sent to Chinese master draftsmen and the costumes on exhibition at the gallery’s basement – an accessory of the multi screen amateur video picturing Colombian people and their festivities – are from the students of the Ecole Duperré. Murillo asked them to revisit the original Feria de Cali costumes. Please note also that one piece is dedicated to Carlos/Ishikawa gallery and another one addresses to a mysterious villa in Beverly Hills. Who is the Pink Panter?

September 22, 2014