Dario Escobar, ‘Obverse & Reverse XXXI’, 2017, Nils Stærk

The work starts from a reflection about the industrial object, in this case a sculpture formed
by football soccer balls sewn among them to form a cloud. It dialogues about the insistence
in thinking of the same object in a sculptural operation; a new configuration of an element
repeated obsessively, as when exhibiting a product in supermarkets or sport stores. Escobar
is impressed by the space solutions for aisles that can be seen in this kind of places and by
the way these solutions also try to make the product more appealing to the eye. This series
of works also tell us about the accumulation not from a point of view centered in the readymade
individuality but from the accumulation of the merchandise as raw prime for a
contemporary sculpture.Sports have been a recurring theme in Darío Escobar’s work in
recent years. For Escobar the sporting equipment is used as tools to describe globalism. It
becomes a sign of multinational brands and movement that have swept across cultures and
Guatemalan artist Darío Escobar’s (b. 1971) lives and works in Guatemala City. He works in
various media: sculpture, installation, painting, and drawing. His work often makes use of the
concept of the readymade, but the objects Escobar choose are always altered in some way
or another. Through the alterations as well as the placement in an artistic context the objects
gain new meanings. General themes in Escobar’s work are the complex relations between
globalization, aesthetics, colonialism, modernism and consumerism. The structural power
relations between these concepts are investigated through attention to both materials and
space as well as the different connotations connected with the objects chosen.

About Dario Escobar

Conceptual artist Dario Escobar’s large-scale installations made from sports equipment are not purely about play: Escobar uses these popular recreational objects to look at Guatamala’s history and culture in a global context. In this vein, Escobar’s work famously uses common and mass-produced materials (like motor oil, bicycle tires, or soccer balls) in conjunction with traditional Guatemalan artisanal techniques and mythological references. Escobar modifies and shapes these found objects and artifacts of material culture into abstract forms that belong to two time periods simultaneously, as in his “Quetzalcoatl” pieces (2003) that turned steel and vulcanized rubber into primordial biomorphic forms.

Guatemalan, b. 1971, Guatemala City, Guatemala, based in Guatemala City, Guatemala