Oscar Muñoz is a Colombian artist whose work often deals with the precariousness of human nature, identity, self-reflection and memory . Muñoz employs unusual or unstable materials such as human breath, water, light and dust and works can manifest within the context of video, or as the result of unorthodox photographic and printing techniques. This particular work – ‘Re/Trato’ from 2003 – is a video of Muñoz painting a self-portait with water on a piece of concrete warmed outdoors by the sun.


I found this work touching, and haunting at the same time. The choice of media and surface create a quite unusual ‘drawing’ which is seemingly endless, and I think encapsulates drawing as both a noun and verb, in an incredibly ephemeral manner. The act of producing this piece reflects the artists preoccupation with self-perception and identity, and the way in which the repetitive, distorting, nervous drawing seems to disappear and require quick and constant renewal evokes a transience and fragility that is quite unsettling within the context.


One thought on “Re/Trato

  1. I agree, this work by Munoz is haunting–and unlike the portrait of Beckett posted by Emily where the lines create a strong and rather unexpected and even uncanny or intimidating presence, the lines and the drawing by Munoz are not particularly interesting–nevertheless the process is arresting and poignant as you say. I like the comment about both noun and verb, and I also like the deliberate futility and endlessness of this action–its a self-portrait and a manifesto about human transience in time too, by very simple means

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