Young British-Colombian artist Oscar Murillo recently debuted his Frequencies project with a large-scale installation of canvases as part of the 56th Venice Biennale: All the World’s Futures in 2015. Project ArtBeat became interested in the project and offered artist cooperation.
Oscar Murillo is a Colombian-British contemporary artist best known for his fast rise in the art world and often called the 21st-century Basquiat.
Murillo was born in La Paila, Colombia – a small town where his family worked in sugar-cane mills. In pursuit of better life, his family immigrated to London, when Oscar was 10 years old. In the UK, he cleaned offices to put himself through art school. Murillo earned his BFA in 2007 from the University of Westminster in London, and completed his MFA in 2012 at the Royal College of Art. After graduating, he worked as a teacher in a secondary school, but soon he quit his job and travelled to South America. After that, he dedicated himself to art entirely. Diverse and original from the beginning, Murillo’s art practice includes performance, installation, publishing, painting and sculpture – where he uses a variety of different media and techniques, including text, recycled materials, and fragments collected from his studio.
Oscar Murillo’s large-scale paintings imply action, performance, and chaos, but are in fact methodically composed of rough-hewn, stitched canvases that often incorporate fragments of text as well as studio debris such as dirt and dust. His paintings, video works, and performances are tied to a notion of community, stemming from the artist’s cross-cultural ties to London, where he currently lives and works, and Colombia, where he was born in 1986. For his ongoing project Frequencies, created in collaboration with members of his family and political scientist Clara Dublanc, Murillo will visit schools across the globe where canvases temporarily affixed to classroom desks will register young students’ creative and critical thought processes. canvases are temporarily affixed to classroom desks in selected schools across the globe, encouraging students aged ten to sixteen to create any kind of mark making—drawing, writing, doodling. The project aims to offer cross-cultural and social insights into youth communities around the world. The results, once shipped back to Murillo, are endlessly fascinating. For example, the ones from Argentina had hearts and hashtags, while the ones from Kenya had guns and helicopters, and the ones from Israel had rap and graffiti. The stream of consciousness illustrations, which are made out of the context of art, are a refreshing moment in the exhibition. Students work on canvas during one semester that allows artists to capture some of the growth process of the students.
The Frequencies Projects Foundation is a not for profit charitable organisation. The Frequencies Projects Foundation has been founded by the artist and is managed by Clara Dublanc, alongside with a board of trustees including the artists parents Belisario Caicedo and Maria Virgelina Murillo. Frequencies aims to implement and develop dialogues with educational institutions.
Frequencies Project aims to generate a collaboration between about 100 schools in 50 diﬀerent countries, including Georgia. Artist uses each student’s work in his installations that are exhibited in the prestigious exhibition halls and art fairs.
After Venice Biennale, Project ArtBeat contacted Oscar Murillo’s project’s team and since September has been collaborating with them. Frequencies coordinator Clara Dublanc alongside with the project founders’ parents visited Georgia in 2015, On September 29. To incorporate different visions of Georgian children from different regions, two schools were selected: private school “Jejili” in Tbilisi and N8 public school of Gori, whose pupils had very close contact with the 2008 August war. It should be noted that both of the schools became involved in the project with great enthusiasm. After the presentation of the project in each school, canvases were installed on desks, and students worked on them during six months.
All processes in the framework of Frequencies project have been completed. The works will be sent to the artist in the nearest future, and Murillo in collaboration with Georgian students will create interesting artworks of contemporary art.
Sources: Widewalls, Complex, British Council Europe, Getty Images, artnet.