“My work starts from a reflection about the industrial object, sculptures created with soccer balls, skateboards, baseball bats, etc...persistent thinking of identical objects in a sculptural operation; a new configuration of an element repeated obsessively, such as when showing a product in supermarkets or sports stores.”
Darío Escobar is a well-known Guatemalan conceptual artist born in 1971 in Guatemala City. His work is characterized by the investigation of formal and conceptual aspects of objects and their function in visual arts. He famously uses common and mass-produced materials in conjunction with traditional Guatemalan artisanal techniques and mythological references. Escobar graduated from Rafael Landívar University and studied visual arts at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas “Rafael Rodríguez Padilla” in Guatemala City.
His work often combines the present and the past in interesting confrontations. Escobar looks for ways to show how the artistic experience of Guatemala’s history and its religious symbols are related to or overlap with the visual culture of today. Skateboards, ping-pong rackets, and baseball bats are covered with silver to look like religious reliquaries. Rubber bicycle tires snake across long spaces referencing a pre-Hispanic mythological creature. Soccer balls are a frequent material in his body of work – a familiar object altered. These conglomerations, repurposed and reconfigured, make people look at mass produced objects anew.
Escobar has been included in many solo and group shows worldwide, including Guatemala City, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Sydney, Paris, Toronto and Caracas. He participated at various Biennales such as the 10th Havana Biennale, and the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, where the artist represented Latin America. His work also features in numerous collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA), the Daros Collection in Zurich, Switzerland, the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundacion and the Colección JUMEX in Mexico, the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas, and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, North Carolina, among others.
Escobar lives and works in Guatemala City.