“Playing with my own appearance and becoming anything and anyone I want has become my way of reflecting on how I view the world.” Juan Pablo Echeverri, 2021
About the artist
Juan Pablo Echeverri (1978-2022, Bogotá, Colombia) made the human body and face— usually his own, gussied up or dressed down, photographed, videotaped, and made unrecognizable—the beginning and end of all his art. Even as a teenager, the multimedia artist was in the habit of taking daily pictures of himself, documenting how outward appearance conveys inner transformation.
In his practice, Echeverri used cleverly selected props such as piercings, wigs, makeup, and costumes to explore stereotypes and cultural codes. His performances ran the gamut from the subtle to the overly affected, and his characters often dangled between comedy and existential seriousness. Echeverri’s oeuvre consists of a progression of clearly demarcated cycles of images with each cycle being both visually distinctive and endowed with a surprising formal stringency.
The constructedness of identity is the central theme of his many works. In the guise of a collector, Echeverri presented his audience with a multiplicity of personalities that, in their quantity and diversity, demonstrated that both deviancy and the norm are social constructs.
Echeverri thus achieved a unique and consistent balance between outward display and inward allusion to the stirrings of his emotional world. The ways in which he created his works, sometimes in complete isolation, sometimes in collaboration with others, also reflect this fact. These are, in the best possible sense, carefree and sensuous works. Yet their profound appeal lies in their winsome authenticity and evocative detail.
Juan Pablo EcheverriLaura Brown and Marcela Echeverri, Juan Pablo Echeverri, James Fuentes Press in a design collaboration with Other Means, Brooklyn, 2023
Latin American Artists: From 1785 to NowPhaidon Editors, Latin American Artists: From 1785 to Now, with an introduction by Raphael Fonseca, Phaidon Press, New York, 2023. P. 109.
500 Self-PortraitsJulian Bell and Liz Rideal, 500 Self-Portraits, Second Edition, Phaidon Press, New York, 2018. P. 559.
Younger than Jesus - Artist DirectoryL. Cornell, L. Hoptman and G. Massimiliano, Younger than Jesus - Artist Directory, Phaidon Press, New York, 2009. P. 146.