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Gabriel Orozco opens first solo show in three years in Mexico City

May 8, 2009 |  9:31 am

Gabriel Orozco, the Mexican contemporary artist, has opened his first solo show in three years in Mexico City. Crowds turned up last month to the unveiling at the Kurimanzutto art gallery despite the H1N1 flu alert alarming the city at the time.

Orozco toured the Mexico states of Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro and San Luis Potosi in his jeep, accompanied by some biologist friends, collecting old, dead nopal (a type of cactus) branches and palm stumps usually used as fuel for burning off fields. 

The result is a clean, natural installation tastefully framed by the big, white space that is Kurimanzutto. Glass eyes embedded in the surface of some of the palm trunks become apparent on closer inspection, lending an eerie, fantastical touch to the work. Has Orozco been hanging out with Guillermo del Toro, the Mexican mastermind behind such fantastical films as "Pan's Labyrinth"?

Apparently not. Instead, Orozco blames the phantasmagorical essence of the exhibition on the fact that he never takes recreational drugs and so there has to be an outlet for surreal and drug-like meanderings in his work. 

Watch the video to see Orozco's work and the artist talking about his project.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City
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