Today it is only my 41st birthday and I have thoughts about my obituary, (a distant family member aged 41 has unexpectedly died, she, the mother of three.) And it’s all thanks to the latest Gabriel OROZCO exhibition at the Tate Modern. Orozco is known for his transfiguration and reinterpretation of every day objects, his work characteristically portrays transient and ephemeral awareness. I flim-dashed over most of this exhibition, It was a fleeting visit! However a few of the pieces caught and held, and then held for a little longer, my attention.
This is great art, not because the works are amazing, not because they are beautiful (although the LA DS 1993 reconfigured single-seater Parisian Citroen is)….
…..but because this art begs you to take a closer look. BLACK KITES 1997 Is beguiling. The morose graphite chequer boarded human skull entices you in for closer inspection, and before you know it, you are central to the composition, Face to face with your own mortality.
photo credit Thom Watson.
The elegant artistic transfiguration from ivory bone to ebony check is strangely mocking, and although stylish, provokes a similar emotion to the tatoo parlours voodoo skull, in a top hat with rose in situ between the teeth. I was amused and fascinated by the upturned love-heart nose. What completes this centre piece is Orozco’s OBIT SERIES 2008 adorning the surrounding walls. Banner sized prints with 27 x short anonymous sentences from the obituary headlines from The New York Times. The fascination for Orozco is in the grouping together of these intense biographical compressions, as well as his interest in the individual lives they record.
I scoured each of the huge pages to wonder about the deceased and to hook out the attractive and the amusing, and maybe to find my own prophetic obituary. Here are a few for you to muse over.
Artist and avantgaurdist/a washer woman who gave all she had to help others/theorist on mother infant attachment/an advocate of mammograms/a dreamer preached positive attitude/gave dictionaries to children/ballerina with comic touch/tended to young gardeners/novelist who blossomed in later life/philosopher, author and friend of popes…………..I came up with a few of my own
Romantic romanticist/Officially an un-official Catholic /mother and poet/beloved apostle of His soul/switched realms/saw life in Technicolor/mags/finally transcended into his arms/ Love.