Ivan Argote, ‘Turistas (Roi Charles III d’Espagne)’, 2013, ICI: Benefit Auction 2017

“Since 2005, Iván Argote’s art has documented global social issues, perforating political and cultural crises in a burlesque and dazzling tone.”
— Maxime Gasnier, The Steidz

Bogota-born, Paris-based artist Iván Argote has established his own brand of iconoclasm by probing history, traditions, politics and symbols of power. He has created films, sculptures, and collages, as well as staged public interventions, such as the defacement of two works by Piet Mondrian at the Centre Pompidou. In the series, Turistas, the artist has staged interventions with public monuments of Spanish kings in Ltin America to challenge historical narratives, clothing the monarchs in indigenous ponchos without permission. Another example of his investigation of symbols of power, Strengthlessness, a flaccid recreation of the Luxor Obelisk, was recently installed in front of The Standard, High Line, in New York.

Argote’s work has been featured in the Sao Paulo Biennial and the subject of several solo exhibitions, including at Galerie Perrotin and Palais de Tokyo, Paris.
—Courtesy of ICI

Image rights: Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin, Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo

Perrotin, New York
Artist's studio

About Ivan Argote

Ivan Argote is infamous for his bold interventions into public spaces and cheeky appropriations of art history. Perhaps best known for his graffiti on two Piet Mondrian works at the Centre Pompidou—protected by glass, thankfully—Argote has also staged performances in which he attempted to give coins to passengers on the Parisian Metro, followed strangers around the streets of New York, passionately licked a metal subway pole, and danced to a song by The Cure in front of a famous painting by Kasimir Malevich. “My works are reflections about the way we behave,” he says, “about how we understand our close environment, and about how this close environment is related with history, traditions, art, politics, and power.” The Colombia-born, Paris-based artist transfers his same brand of iconoclasm shrouded in light irreverence into the gallery—recent works include a photo series of equestrian statues with their riders removed and a flaccid, collapsed recreation of the Luxor Obelisk.

Colombian, b. 1983, Bogota, Colombia, based in Paris, France