Hailing from La Paila, Colombia, London-based artist Oscar Murillo boldly plunges into the themes of socio-political displacement and the restless zeitgeist of the twenty-first century. He describes his paintings when removed from the context of his studio as having “an aura of being a historical thing”. For his first major solo exhibition in the UK, Murillo fills the main space at South London gallery with the colourful paraphernalia that fill his studio. Sculptures, stitched canvases and floor pieces made from masses of pulped biro drawings embody his artistic approach, which morphs process into matter and represents it as form. One might conceive of his practice as an archaeological study of personal and social identity, as explored through objects.
Unique to this exhibition and to the essence of Murillo’s work is a lottery component that addresses pertinent issues across different societies, such as cultural authenticity, value, and the relationship between the public, private and commercial spheres. Launched on 2 September, the lottery project comprises screen-printed tickets that are executed in oil paint by Murillo and one of his family members. Each ticket costs £2500, has its own number, and is signed by Murillo. Interested members of public can purchase these tickets online or by contacting the South London Gallery till the deadline of 7.30 pm GMT on Friday 18 October. Throughout the exhibition, the artist’s proofs and lottery tickets will be on display. Murillo himself has devised the first, second and third prizes himself, and will reveal the three winners during a prize draw on 18 October.
if I was to draw a line, this journey started approximately 400 km north of the equator will run until 1 December.
South London Gallery, 65 – 67 Peckham Road, London SE5 8UH
Images courtesy of the artist, South London Gallery and David Zwirner New York/London.