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Important Latin American artists: Mexico

Posted on June - 22 - 2016

What is the exact definition of “successful” artists? That question lurks around the minds of several young emerging talents, aged underestimated masters or cultural workers. So, what would be the answer, if there even were an answer? The level of success is, after all, a shared social construct that can vary and derive from subjective standards. But, there is no escaping the strict criteria and instructions that come from the hegemonic centers of culture manufacturing. If we include some of these requisites such as education, associated galleries, and curators, international exhibition, market price, among others, we can say that there are Latin American artists that undoubtedly belong in that category. They are considered as being truly international “successful” artists (by international standard) and superstars in the small but growing art community. The list can go on and on, but for now, we will consider only Mexica artists who have become heavy-hitters in the contemporary art scene.

Abraham Cruzvillegas

Cruzvillegas was born in 1968 in Mexico City and was raised in the southern area of the city called Colonia Ajusco. His upbringing had a strong effect on him and shaped his artistic production. He came to prominence in the nineties, and his intellectual analysis of different aspects of Mexico and Latin American issues are very much present in his work. “Autoconstrucción” is a termed that he coined for his constructions and bricolages, made out of available objects alluding to the manner of construction of poor and precarious areas of Latin America, working as well as a metaphor for the constructions of identity. One of the key points that has cemented him as an important artist even more, is his exhibition last year in the iconic Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern, the most prestigious contemporary space in the U.K., being the second Latin American artists to be conditioned (after another household name, Doris Salcedo). His lists of achievements and multiply, but truly he is a force to be reckoned with in the art world, both creatively and academically.

Abraham Cruzvillegas

“Empty Lot”

Photo courtesy of: www.telegraph.co.uk

Gabriel Orozco

If anyone knows anything that has been going on in the contemporary art world for the last 20 years, this name already sounds familiar and perhaps even old. It can definitely be said that Orozco is one of the great contemporary artists still living today. Together with Cruzvillegas, Ortega, Dr. Lakra, and Gabriel Kuri, they met up for creative sessions. In the nineties he experimented with new forms of representations and gained the global attention due to his originality. It can’t go unnoticed that Orozco’s brilliance lay in his subtle and poetic takes on everyday objects and notions such as the ephemeral and untouchable quality of presence and its intangible effects. His work has been exhibited all over the world in various galleries, museums and biennials and his work is among some of the most prestigious of the world including the MoMA and the Tate Modern among many others.

Gabriel Orozco

“La D.S.”

Photo courtesy of: www.theguardian.com

Damián Ortega

Dubbed sometimes as the wittiest artists in Mexico, Ortega started in the 80 as a cartoonist and thanks to the boom of artistic innovation in the capital city. Ortega made the transition to a conceptual outtake, also centered in the found objects and all the different significance they can possess due to our inevitable tendency for attribution. As well as his contemporaries, he has exhibited in various museums, galleries and spaces through the world, as well as represented his country in biennals including the Biennale di Venezia and the Bienal of Sao Paulo, among others. 

By: Gabriela Martinez

Damien Ortega

“Controller of the Universe”

Photo courtesy of: www.gladstonegallery.com