Hugo Marin: Reducirse al Maximo

To the right, a torso of a sushi boy reclining at a bar, to the left Mexican luchador masks, and all the while Indian music sets the ambiance. This is the creative universe imagined by Hugo Marin. Whether cross-cultural fusion or an all-you-can-eat hodgepodge of ideas, you decide.

Photograph courtesy Paloma Palominos, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Photograph courtesy Paloma Palominos,

In Redicirse al Maximo, Marin uses such a medley of influences to explore wide-ranging ideas that it can be difficult to find the common thread between the various installations. His works evoke ideas of man's differing relations with idols and draw from many different cultures.   He is influenced by the art of the Mapuche, Mayan and Incan, as well as Tibetan and African symbols and myths. Though brought together into the same room, these disparate worlds do not seem to lend much comment to each other within the arrangement of the space.  In one corner stands a statue of Incan Princess Sapaicolla, while a nearby “work in progress” piece displays an easel, paint tins and a half-finished giant sculpture of a head.

Marin creates in situ scenes and, treated individually, they are interesting works.  By only using natural materials that draw from ancient artistic practices of different regions, he utilizes mud, cement, clay and straw along with leather, feathers, gourds, object waste, vegetable fibers, prostheses, brick dust, dirt and colored gauze.

One area of the room hosts six overpowering heads of machi warriors installed on wooden frames. The machi were the Mapuche shaman, generally women, who performed curing acts and influenced the weather and harvests. The scale and structure of these statues are impressive and each displays a different facial emotion.

And while you contemplate these ancient faces, a quick turn to the right will suddenly reveal the likeness of Busta Rhymes. Enjoy.

Sala Matta of Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
16 July - 21 September

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