The text “Un sueño de ti” (2007) is important insofar as it attests to the positive reception that work by Juan Pablo Echeverri (b. 1978) enjoyed on the international art scene. His work was considered an obsessive portrait of the experience of contemporary man constructing an identity as well as an effective—and amusing—questioning of stereotypes produced by the homogenization of modernity. Particularly interesting is Norton’s reading of Echeverri’s Miss foto Japón (2000) as a contemporary rendition of the work of Andy Warhol (1928–1987) insofar as, on the basis of different formal and conceptual premises, Echeverri makes obsessive use of his own image to construct a self that contains many different selves.
In this text, Morton describes Echeverri’s video production in the exhibition as a sort of homemade MTV, a combination of self-affirmation and self-pity in melodramatic tone. This assessment evidences the influence of the mass media and music on Echeverri’s work, which in turn, uses irony and humor to attest to the common desire to play a leading role in the contemporary world. Echeverri’s work must be understood in relation to a generation of Colombian artists from the last decade explicitly concerned with gender issues. The influence of queer theory has indisputably played a role in generating new curatorial spaces like the exhibition Yo no soy esa (2006), spaces that have helped Colombian artists who work on gender issues—among them Fernando Arias (b. 1962) (see 1131272) and Santiago Monge (b. 1974)—gain recognition. The origin of this openness to diversity, though, lies in the seventies with works by artists such as Luis Caballero Holguín (1943–1995) and Miguel Ángel Rojas (b. 1946), who were among the first to openly address homosexuality in their production.
Tom Morton (b. 1977) is an English curator and critic. He was the curator of Cubitt in London from 2006–2007. His texts have been featured in international publications such as Tank, Blueprint, Arena and Tate. He is currently the editor of the art magazine Frieze. He lives and works in London.
Juan Pablo Echeverri is a visual artist with a degree from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. In 2006, he was awarded the Colombia-England artists’ residency sponsored by the Colombian Ministry of Culture’s Programa Nacional de estímulo (2006).