Ten or fifteen years ago, the Latin American art market in London was new and very difficult. For many works, frankly you would be best to sell through New York or Miami, rather than London, albeit the internet gradually came to the fore. Frida Karlo, Diego Rivera, Fernando Botero and, if you were really knowledgeable, Wilfredo Lam, were leading the charge, but there were many more – generally unrecognised in London. Things are now different, and with the sad death of Carlos Cruz-Diez at the grand old age of 95 years, contemporary Latin American art has perhaps come of age, with several exhibitions across London.
A fellow Columbian artist to Botero, but entirely different in style, new works from Oscar Murillo (born in 1986) have been on show in David Zwirner’s gallery in London in ‘Manifestation’ with his large coloured, but moody, paintings filling the white 18th century spaces and a new installation which is full of all sorts of meanings, depending if you are a football supporter or not. But, beware, the works are not all paintings – look hard and you will see that some of his most recent works are created by reusing pieces of previous works. sewn together and painted to create an effect which hasdifferent perspectives, depending how you look at them. Are they collages or are they paintings? What you need to do is go beyond that and immerse yourself in the political messages that are subtly contained within, perhaps linking back to the difficult, complex and violent politics of South America.