Thursday, May 15, 2014

Oscar Murillo at Zwirner - 15 May

When planning this trip to New York I researched what shows were on and picked my own top 5 of what I wanted to see. Oscar Murillo at Zwirner was right up there. I'd read a few bad reviews, even from my new friend Jerry Saltz (I'm blogging on the go here so will fix up formatting and add some links when back in Oz - here's Jerry's piece). But I was excited to see this. Maybe it is the baker in me but I just love the idea of a chocolate factory (and it shouldn't be hard to believe I invented a chocolate bar in the '90s - it was a cross Bounty / Milky Way, and it was awesome!). Anyhoo, let's grab our golden ticket and go ...

Firstly, this was a little tricky to find. Only because Zwirner has about 4 galleries in a 2 block radius! But once in I was entranced. What a Willy Wonka conceit! Oscar is Columbian and has is making his favourite Columbian chocolate, the Colombina, in the gallery. The artist is nowhere to be seen but there is a team of Colombian factory workers transplanted into the gallery pumping out the choccies (pic above). Great idea. The only downside I could see is that I will be labelled derivative when I set up the Golden rough factory at Gagosian next year!  You could sample to your hearts content and I helped myself to a few. The choccies themselves aren't all that much. Mass market milk chocolate with a marshmallow centre. The packaging was pretty sweet with the shiny silver and smiley face. Very Pharrell happy looking.  That said, I was interested to know what the regular packaging looked like.  There is a website to this show, a mercantile novel, which goes into a bit more theory about trade and such we needn't get into now (but I will post a link later for those art history phd types). I think it works best thought of in the sense of fantasy. And it's a fantasy I share.

Points:  Like Kara Walker this is again one of those best on ground awards, and actually there is a strong link between the two sweet shows as there were quite a few Domino sugar bags sprinkled through the factory bit.  There's only one thing to see and it was great. Check out the website of the show, I will be sure to post a photo of the junior critics with their Columbina's in Sydney.

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