"[Oscar] Murillo’s work has always been informed by a sense of social injustice. He arrived in Britain with his parents when he was 10, coming from one of Colombia’s biggest sugar-cane-producing areas, escaping what he describes as the 'economic turmoil' afflicting the country. He adapted to his new surroundings relatively comfortably. 'I have constant awareness of my own privilege, growing up in London, being educated,' he says. “It makes you think about those people who are lacking those things.” The new works tap into that dissonance. 'The genesis of it all is in myself. My own anxieties, my own anger.' He waves at the walls. 'A lot of this mark-making is a release of anxiety and physical energy.'
'I want to liberate this energy, and allow it to exist openly, without too much reference to politics. I want to think about my practice as an honest offering to a large audience, something that goes beyond performative, symbolic gestures.' He gives me a demonstration of how he works, on one of his new 'catalyst' paintings. He stands on a wooden platform, pulls an unstretched, painted canvas from the floor, then places it, painted side down, on to another one. He picks up a stick and starts to scrawl on the back of the top canvas, so that the impression of the marks is left on both. After a minute he stops, a little breathless. 'I call it a catalyst because it is about action, and reaction,' he says."
Read the full interview in the Financial Times
Oscar Murillo: Violent Amnesia opens at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge on April 9, 2019.
Image: Oscar Murillo, violent amnesia, 2014–2018