May 3 – May 31, 2014
Steve Turner Contemporary is pleased to present El Sueño De La Razón Produce Monstruos (The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters), a solo exhibition by Medellín-based artist Camilo Restrepo, who creates drawings based on his proximity to the epicenter of drug-related violence in Colombia.
In this, Restrepo’s second solo exhibition at Steve Turner, the artist will present works from two series: three large-scale drawings from A Land Reform as well as a group of portraits from a new series, Los Caprichos. In both bodies of work, Restrepo creates images that are based on narco traffickers and the aliases they assume as reported daily in Colombian newspapers. The aliases are often based on television and comic book characters; celebrities; animals; and commercial brands. The childish nature of these assumed identities contrasts starkly to the traffickers’ vicious, violent behavior.
A Land Reform consists of seventy individual sheets of paper that are torn from the artist’s drawing book and then crudely taped together. Filled with collaged newspaper clippings and Restrepo’s cartoon-like characters, the various scenarios are connected by a series of what appear to be red hoses—or are they veins of blood? The hoses pass through the sheet onto the reverse side where there is another complicated system of hoses, both sides alluding to the interconnected intricacy of the armed conflict in Colombia.
Taking his title from Goya’s monumental series of etchings filled with images of human folly, vice and absurdity, Restrepo’s Los Caprichos cover much the same territory in contemporary terms. “Salvador,” a Dali-like character, rides a horse whose head has been cut off while balancing an espresso cup in one hand—is it filled with coffee, or blood? “Cristobal,” a cartoon Columbus on bended knee, holds his sword wrapped in a vein of blood in one hand while taking a cell phone selfie with his other hand. The tattered, emblematic sail of the Santa Maria, entwined with an arterial-like ribbon, is beside him.
Each of the portraits in Los Caprichos is surrounded by a distressed white background, one that Restrepo created by removing the top skin of paper, first by weakening it with his saliva, and then, by scraping it away. He then applied tape to heal the wounded paper—but the scars remain visible, yielding a devastated surface consisting of twelve sheets of paper barely held together, much like Colombian society. But Restrepo’s images, like Goya’s are not limited to the national environment that inspired them, they carry the weight of universal human madness.
Camilo Restrepo (born 1973, Medellín, Colombia), earned an MFA from CalArts (2013) and a masters degree in aesthetics from the National University of Colombia (2008). He has had solo exhibitions at Steve Turner (2013); Untitled, Miami Beach (2013); Galería Santa Fe, Bogotá (2011); Casa Tres Patios, Medellín (2010); Galería de la Oficina, Medellín (2010) and LA Galería, Bogotá (2009). In 2010, Restrepo was nominated for the Premio Luis Caballero, the most important prize in Colombia for artists over 35.
Born 1973, Medellín
Lives and works in Medellín
MFA in Art, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California
Masters in Aesthetics, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellín
El Sueño De La Razón Produce Monstruos, Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles
This is a Wound, Not Just The Drawing of a Hole, Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles
Small figures on the ground, Premio Luis Caballero, Galería Santa Fe, Bogotá
Recent works, Galería de La Oficina, Medellín
Small figures on the ground, Casa Tres Patios, Medellín
This is a pipe, LA Galería, Bogotá
Selected Group Shows
Zona Maco (with Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles), Mexico City
Untitled, Miami Beach (with Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles)
Uma linha de pó, Barracao Maravilha Arte Contemporanea, Rio de Janeiro
La gente en la colección del Museo, Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Medellín
Poetas en tiempos de escasez. El parqueadero – Banco de la República, Bogotá
Más allá de la Crisis, 6a Ventosul, Bienal de Curitiva, Museo Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil
Salón BBVA – Nuevos Nombres Banco de la Repúlbica, Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogotá
42 Salón Nacional de Artistas, Museo Antropológico Universidad del Atlántico, Barranquilla
Premio Bienal de Artes Plásticas y Visuales Bogotá 2010, Fundación Gilberto Alzate Avendaño, Bogotá
Casa Tres Patios – No Soul for Sale, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London
Awards and Distinctions
Fulbright Grantee, USA
First place, XXII Salón Colombiano de Fotografía, Sala de Arte Suramericana de Seguros, Medellín
Cembalest, Robin. “Artwork on Violence in Colombia Too Dangerous for Art Fair in Miami,” ARTnews, December 4
Samuels, A.J. “When Art Gets Violent,” Artfetch, September