Untitled (OROXXO), L5-P01
Gabriel Orozco ( Mexican, 1962 )
In February 2017, Gabriel Orozco opened a fully functioning OXXO store in Mexico City’s kurimanzutto gallery. OXXO is the quintessential Mexican convenience store; it opened its first store in 1978 in Monterrey, and today has over 14,000 stores, the largest of its kind in Mexico. In true Duchampian spirit, Orozco sold the typical consumer products found there, some tagged with his signature circle vinyl stickers, in a series he playfully called OROXXO. Priced according to a complex scheme, captured in a graph created by the artist, the value of the marked works decreases during the run of the show, thus reversing the art market’s typical speculative mechanisms. Sets of 75 of the 300 marked products—including packages of potato chips, chocolate bars and cookies, cans and bottles of soda, liquor, beer, and water, condoms, cans of Raid, and packs of poker cards—were bundled especially for institutional acquisition.
Orozco has been developing a visual language consisting of arrangements of fragmented or overlapping circles since the early 1990s. First explored in drawings and paintings, they have been applied to media as diverse as currency and bone, and became codified into a pattern that describes the moves of the knight across a chess board, as they appear in the 2006 Samurai Tree series. In the OROXXO series, he essentially rebrands consumer objects with the language of his studio practice, responding to how cultural and commercial capital reinforce each other. The entire project functions as a sophisticated game of economics, which points to the larger cultural implications of his work.
Anna Katherine Brodbeck, ed., TWO X TWO X TWENTY: Two Decades Supporting Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art), 2018, 279.
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