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Marcos Ávila Forero: Andantes

January 19 – February 23, 2013
Galerie Dohyang Lee, Paris

Under a bright sun of 2011 spring (the exhibition took place in June) I walked to the Beaux Arts of Paris, to find some awarded young art students of the 2010 class.

I followed the path and encountered a first work of Marcos Avila Forero (In San Vicente, A Training). It was a very generous work by the space it occupied and pictorially wealthy. I like this idea to have used, wood carven, tip burnt, fake war weapons to draw on the wall a forest where blend all the endeavors of a Colombian jungle… The work was accompanied with a soundtrack of war cries by men and women, feigning to make war, recorded in a Colombian forest. A plastic strength emerged from this work which moved and talked to me.

While going upstairs, I still meditated on the impression I had by discovering this work. I was confronted with a dialogue between two simultaneously displayed videos about the wandering of a manatí (animal living in the Amazon River). Marcos had carved it, in life-size, with the help of local craftsmen, in the wood of an Amazonian forest tree. It was for him a question of performance and at the same time a path full of pitfalls and difficulties to bring the monster in to the water. By discovering this encouraging video, I cannot refrain from thinking of the work of F. Alys, main artist of his generation. Like him, it is a question of performance. Alys uses at the same time Western codes and not permanent materials to illustrate his projects through wandering whereas Marcos bases on appropriate cultural references to the history of the places where he is going to work, through touring. In both cases, the initiatives are fascinating. I think that Francis uses degradable materials (ice, paint) which disappear with time, whereas Marcos builds craftworks in reference to a context of origin with which he makes the actions. It is question of surrealist and absurd performances with Francis while it is a question of intimate, nostalgic performances connected to his own history for Marcos. We will frequently find this notion in his work. I think, in particular, about the work of the boat he used in Morocco and which was the object of a beautiful movie, made after a performance during the 2012 Nuit Blanche in Paris…

With hindsight, and without going into more details, what makes an impression in his work is he diverts and uses as artistic work base some elements, which role, in daily life, are to convey, circulate and transport …

He often uses local materials of Colombia which are very important for the trade and the survival of the population. I think about the references to the hessian, the shoes, the pallets, the boats, the truck which are all “supports” of vital transportation used in a recurring way, by the artist. He even uses water diluted coffee to mark the imprint of Armenia on the walls of Colombian local houses … When talking about shape, there are tones of ochre. As he would dress the wounds of things he sees through his journeys, he even uses Mercurochrome in his drawings.

Marcos is invested with all his being in his work. He surprises me by his cleverness, by his plastic and human generosity. I am curious and expect much about upcoming works. In my opinion, he is an artist whom we have to follow closely for he still has things to say…

Practical Info
Galerie Dohyang Lee
73-75, rue Quincampoix, 75003 Paris
tuesday – saturday
11 – 13 / 14 – 19
or by appointment

This post is also available in: Spanish