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Adriana Martínez Barón Biography

Colombian artist Adriana Martínez Barón uses a wide array of everyday objects in her work. Through reimagining mundane and overlooked objects, she comments on global and local issues.

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Early Life and influences

Martínez Barón is based in Bogotá, Columbia. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of the Andes in Bogotá, and a Master of Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute in New York. Concerned with how to continue working as an artist after leaving school due to what she suggests is the city's lack of institutional support for artists, Martínez Barón founded a gallery space called MIAMI in 2011 and an artist-run gallery called Carne in 2014. These spaces have proved to be influential, providing pathways for the emergence of other artist-run spaces in Bogotá.

Reimagining the Mundane

Martínez Barón's artwork speaks directly to social issues in Colombia, but it also attempts to transcend local politics. In Tutti Frutti (2017), Martínez Barón created an installation of a fruit stall. The bananas, kiwis, and apples were all completely covered with brand stickers. Martínez Barón explained, 'This piece is about the infrastructure behind fresh fruits. ... They're healthy and supposed to be good for us—but even if it's healthy for you, what's behind it is maybe not so healthy.' Martínez Barón noted the irony of Disney's promotion of bananas through joyful jingles, while Colombians were killed in the Banana Massacre—a massacre of United Fruit Company workers in 1928.

Through Martínez Barón's reimagination, everyday objects like fruit and banknotes become national symbols. In creating At the End of the Rainbow (2015), Martínez Barón took colourful notes from different South American nations and rolled them together to create a rainbow. 'Money is supposed to be worth something,' said Martínez Barón. 'How can I change what it means without breaking it?' By lifting the notes out of circulation, Martínez Barón reflected, 'It stops being money and starts being countries.'

Exhibitions

Martínez Barón held her first international solo exhibition, Detroit Affinities: Adriana Martinez, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in 2017.

Martínez Barón's solo exhibitions include moments that last forever, FORO.SPACE, Bogota, Colombia (2021); Detroit Affinities: Adriana Martinez, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) (2017); Green, Ung-5, Cologne (2017); Deja Vú, Cine Tonalá, Bogotá (2014); and Colombianos, Bienvenidos al Futuro, Espacio ArtVersus, Bogotá (2013).

Group exhibitions include Past Future Time: Art in Colombia in the 21st Century, Medellin Modern Art Museum, Colombia (2019); Take Me (I'm Yours), Jewish Museum, New York (2017); What We Know That We Don't Know, Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco (2017); When Attitudes Become Form Become Attitudes, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2012); and El mapa: Cartografías Críticas, El Parqueadero, Museo de Arte del Banco de la República, Bogotá (2010).

Carren Wong | Ocula | 2021

Adriana Martínez Barón Featured Artworks

Not In Your Country by Adriana Martínez Barón contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Adriana Martínez BarónNot In Your CountryAcrylic on map
105 x 146 cm
FORO.SPACE Enquire
Last Bear Standing by Adriana Martínez Barón contemporary artwork sculpture
Adriana Martínez BarónLast Bear StandingRefrigerator and packages
41.5 x 120 x 80 cm
FORO.SPACE Enquire
Todos Juntos by Adriana Martínez Barón contemporary artwork sculpture
Adriana Martínez BarónTodos JuntosShipping box, plastic straw, packaging and resin
27 x 100 x 110 cm
FORO.SPACE Enquire
Not Found by Adriana Martínez Barón contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Adriana Martínez BarónNot Found, 2021Acrylic on Map
105 x 146 cm
FORO.SPACE Enquire
Telefingüino by Adriana Martínez Barón contemporary artwork sculpture, moving image
Adriana Martínez BarónTelefingüino, 2021Video sculpture
40 x 28 x 14 cm
FORO.SPACE Enquire
Polarcitas by Adriana Martínez Barón contemporary artwork sculpture
Adriana Martínez BarónPolarcitas, 2021Resin and packages
34.5 x 95 x 117 cm
FORO.SPACE Enquire
Perishable by Adriana Martínez Barón contemporary artwork sculpture
Adriana Martínez BarónPerishable, 2021Resin and packages
52 x 100 x 100 cm
FORO.SPACE Enquire
Sealed Airs by Adriana Martínez Barón contemporary artwork sculpture
Adriana Martínez BarónSealed Airs, 2021Refrigerator and packaging
135 x 91 x 61 cm
FORO.SPACE Enquire

Adriana Martínez Barón Recent Exhibitions

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