Americas

Gabriel Orozco
Darth Vader

Darth Vader (2014) makes overt references to pop cultural antecedents, specifically George Lucas’ blockbuster film Star Wars (1977). The image depicted however seems to have little in common with Lucas’s space epic: the photograph, instead, shows an umbrella laid upside down on the ground, filled almost to the brim with a tear-drop shaped pool of water. The highly reflective surface of the water reflects the umbrella’s handle and armature as well as the trees and cloud-streaked sky overhead. It is not entirely clear why Orzoco chooses to gesture towards Star Wars here – possibly because the water’s reflective surface echoes the shape and high-polish helmet of Star Wars’ primary antagonist, Darth Vader. But in documenting a seemingly amusing and interesting “everyday” phenomena, Orzoco again gestures towards how everyday objects and environments can function as readymade art works. In this context, the water’s mirrored surface can also be read as a metonym for infinity and the amorphous possibilities that exist in our every day world. Floating elegantly in the upturned umbrella, the pool of water becomes a literal site for reflection, turning our perceptions back unto ourselves.

Gabriel Orozco could be described as a traveler-artist, without a fixed studio. He works following contexts and produces work that flows. "Special Service" (1997) is a collage on a plane ticket, and indicates nomadism, between territories. The artist, who is the son of muralist Mario Orozco Riviera, questions the boundaries of his artistic identity in Mexico. In "Crazy tourist" (1991), Orozco creates a situation with oranges in the Brazilian market tables in a desert. The artist uses objects or "poor" situations, found in the everyday landscape, natural or urban. By their division, their juxtaposition, or collage, inventing semantic or sensitive scenarios, always surprising, sometimes humorous and sometimes lyrical ... The sculptural practice of the artist, inseparable from his drawings, photographs, or films, invents relationships of space, and disrupts our perception of objects. Such is the case of "Yielding Stone" (1992), a photo of a plasticine ball, the weight of the artist, rolled through the streets of New York. Gabriel Orozco was born in 1962 in Jalapa, Mexico. He lives and works in New York, Mexico, and Paris.