Last update, October 12, 2021

Series of collages made out of two Colombian print archives, sheets from Gráficas Molinari, a popular printshop founded in Cali in 1952, and ads from Diners Magazine (1976-1994), a cultural publication related to the Diners Club International credit card franchise, and its homonym art gallery in Bogotá (1980-2002). These hybrid images help to explore the limits between the bourgeois and aspirational esthetics of the magazine ads with the kitsch and corny look of the Molinari prints. This relates to a more general issue about class stereotypes in Colombian society and how artists tend to work and play in the intersection of both worlds.

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Virtual residency at Gráficas Molinari

In 1949, after a dinner in a New York restaurant, businessman Frank McNamara invented the Diners Club International franchise, a credit card independent from banks, originally focused on being used for dining, travel, and entertainment expenses. The company's success was such that it would expand globally, operating in around 60 countries, including Colombia, where it arrived in 1962 after the management of another businessman, Ernesto Carlos Martelo. More than being a simple card, the brand has concentrated on transmitting the idea that the "members" of this club, are part of a small group of people with exclusive privileges and whose social status allows them to access luxury goods and services. Part of that strategy consisted, and still is, in publishing a magazine for its clients (by subscription). For 30 years, from 1963 until mid-94, the magazine had the same format (21x 23 cm). It included a review of artists contemporary to the publication –most of them Colombians–, and an image of their work, reproduced on the cover. As a complement to this initiative, an art gallery with the same name was founded in the 80s. This work points to the tension between art seen as an element of decorum of a privileged social class that easily accesses a loan to satisfy their luxury desires and the vital and professional activity of artists whose living depends on it. This small archive of 105 covers and ads, intervened with acrylic, function as a source to understand and show the relationship, sometimes perverse, sometimes necessary and inevitable, between art, finances, investments, the upper classes of society, and exclusive goods and merchandise.


2018—February > May
Sports are a reflection of the way societies function and provide a way to understand subtle and untranslatable concerns about cultural belonging and citizenship. Tejo, the national sport of Colombia, where I claim citizenship, is a good example to explain these issues and to understand some related paradigms. By reading sports and games as a model of the ways we come together, we can begin to see paradigms of larger systems. We have built and developed rules, values, right and wrong behaviors, structures, tools and boundaries that, in theory, could produce fair play and establish an even ground to live on and interact with each other. But often these structures and laws constitute limits, walls, competition, strata, market unfairness, and obstacles for spontaneous interaction. This project is composed of two parts, a site-specific playground made in my studio in SAIC, and a geometric model to understand the contradictions and ironies behind Tejo, a Precolumbian game as well as a modern sport.


Research and photographs
In Bogotá, at the intersection of 57A and 40C streets, there is a footwear repair store founded in 1960: Manzi. Their brand looks similar to the one of an Italian pizzeria. In front of it, there is a square with a fountain that no longer works and, next to it, there are four benches facing each other. In one of them sits an old man biting a sweet bread. Around there are walking some couples, women in tailor suits and men with rigid pants. A young man in shorts is walking his dog. An older woman walks so slowly that she seems almost stopped. She is held by a cane. Many cars park next to the sidewalk, from 59th street to 53rd street and to the 39th street, that is, in the arterial roads of an urbanization of multifamily apartments divided into four blocks. Block A that is blue. Block B that is red. Block C that is green and block D that is yellow. Inaugurated in 1966, this housing estate was built to receive pilgrims who would attend a Eucharistic Congress and then baptized with the name of the pope that came to visit: Paul the sixth. We can also see, in that place taken from another time, the Romannoti pastry shop, the D'Castell beauty centre, the Tres Esquinas cigar shop, the La Estancia restaurant, the Capry wash, the Dandini sauce shop and the 86 World store.

Artlicks magazine, 21st edition

This work is based on the dystopian novel Flatland, written in 1884 by Edwin Abbot. In it, the author depicts a fictitious, flat world, in which each member of society is represented by a geometric figure corresponding to their gender or social position. In this unequal pyramid, women (lines) are at the bottom of the structure and are considered inferior to men. Then comes the workers and soldiers (isosceles triangles), followed by craftsmen and merchants (equilateral triangles), scientists and men of law (squares), the upper classes (hexagons), the nobles (polygons) and finally, at the top of that stratification, the priests (circles). On the outside are the irregular forms that are nothing more than outcasts of society. I use this visual metaphor to make evident the short distance that exists between this dystopia and reality –ruling elites, racial discrimination, gender inequality, and imposed religious beliefs–.

Lluvia de sobres, Museo Q

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