Description of artwork:
Working in a range of media, Pepe López examines the impact of global networks and the ways in which Latin American abstract geometric art from the mid-twentieth century intersects with systems of international power.
López began his Guapísimas
project in 2004 and learned about traditional basket making through field research with the indigenous Guajibo people. The Guajibo word for basket is "wapa." Coincidentally, the Spanish word for beautiful, "guapa," is pronounced in the same way as "wapa," and "guapísima" is the superlative. López's title deliberately plays on this double meaning.
With a waning basket weaving tradition and tourism’s demand for Guajibo souvenirs limiting the repertoire of production to the most popular patterns, the Guajibo are increasingly reliant on manufactured goods. Observing this trend, López bought their baskets and ironically inserted them into the global art economy. He added painted shapes reminiscent of abstract geometric art as well as various industrial logos, like the Suzuki logo seen on the smaller basket.
(Source: Catalogue for the exhibition Portadores de sentido