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Important contemporary Colombian artists to follow

Posted on July - 27 - 2016

Doris Salcedo. Courtesy of: www.multimedialab.be

Doris Salcedo. Courtesy of: www.multimedialab.be

It is probable that on hearing the name Colombia, unconscious association to its dark times come to mind, but if the unsavory stereotypes can be ignored, Colombia is also a country that has redeemed itself and left its obscure past well behind it.

In the midst of the political turmoil and social unrest, it is said that art finds a way to express humanities’ greatness to overcome hardships, either by denouncing them, surmising a brighter future, or just coming to peace with certain situations. So it’s no wonder that after a rocky decade, Colombia has fast become a growing cultural center. With internationally acclaimed artists, galleries, fairs and museums, Bogota and Medellin are crucial capitals of creative exchange. Moving away from the modern figurative artists, Colombia has exported not only delicious coffee, but also an array of talented contemporary artists.

Although there are a lot of talented Colombian artists, we only mention three that play an important part in the global art world.

Doris Salcedo

There is much to say about this great dame though, as the mother of contemporary art in Colombia. Her work is deeply rooted in the political and social upheavals that cause so much destruction and wounds in Colombia’s psyche. Her installations and sculptures, although grand and impressive, are subtle and poetic while depicting the foul conditions of the oppressed, marginalized and disempowered. Although she has participated in several biennials, fairs, fellowships, solo exhibitions and more, she continues to live and work in her native Bogota.

Oscar Murillo

Born in Valle del Cauca, there is no doubt that Murillo is one of the most successful artists of his generation. At only 29, he has managed to rock the art world and manage to get solo exhibitions in internationally acclaimed galleries as well as getting in private and public collections. Although his work started with Basquiat-like paintings, Murillo has also produced massive installations and gritty performances. The themes in his work often come from his personal background and topics he is familiar with to elaborate a big scale critique on society and hegemonic centers of power, especially the West. This year he notoriously flushed his passport in an airplane heading from London to Australia and was denied entry to the country.

Oscar Murillo

Courtesy of: www.biaci.org

Gabriel Sierra

Sierra´s work is related to his background as an industrial designer. His work revolves around quotidian objects that he often intervenes to highlight a strain with their original significance. Sierra is mainly interested in how objects become signifiers and how they sometimes are disconnected with their original significance and challenge linguistic codes and social constructions. He refined and serene work manages to create aesthetically pleasing works.

By: Gabriela Martinez

Gabriel Sierra

Courtesy of: www.martinjanda.at