Presentation at Cali Departamental Library & Solo Exhibition:

Caro es de todos (Caro Belongs to Everyone)


Some time ago I had the opportunity to interview Miguel González about the Work of Antonio Caro, I remember very well that Miguel started with the following phrase: “Antonio Caro’s works have the property of not aging, on the contrary it seems that with the passing of time they rejuvenate ”. Reflecting on the eternal youth of Antonio’s works, I remembered that story of the ship of the Argonauts who left with Jason in search of the Golden Fleece, they leave in a boat that is suffering damage during the long journey, then they repair it with the materials found along the way. As time goes by, the Argonauts realize that their ship has the same shape with which they left, but it is built with different materials; ends up being an object with the same name but different content.

This boat of the Argonauts operates in a similar way to the cultural superstructures that frequently recognize or prioritize events that they consider “significant”, leaving aside the transformations of the infrastructures; that is to say, culture, leaving aside or behind those cultural products that it does not consider significant, to introduce taxonomically into history, those that it considers relevant.

Antonio’s work manages to embed itself from the cultural infrastructure, achieving fractures that reach that superstructure. Like the Argonauts, the images produced by Antonio start with a shape and an objective, but along the way they transform their composition, they build with the elements that each sociocultural context provides.

For this reason, that image produced 30 years ago continues to be as valid as the first day, it annuls the immanence to which we, as individuals, are forced daily by the superstructure through advertising, and the global socio-economic functioning, in favor of a transcendence that it occurs in the sociocultural infrastructure; where each individual appropriates the objects, transforming them into particular and personal ideas. For this reason, different generations of artists have been influenced by Antonio’s work, however, beyond the limited field of art, his images have managed to transmit permanently and effectively, to a field more varied than that of art: that of daily culture.

Maestro Caro’s postcard book includes 16 images of his works: SAL 1971, A tiger 1973, Defend his talent from 1974, Colombia 1975, Colombia 1976, Flag Colombia 1977, Everything is very Expensive 1978, Homage to Manuel Quintín Lame 1978 , Project 500 of 1990 Stamp of 1993, Achiote 2001, Malparidos 2005, Personal Dose 2006, Misfortunes 2007, La Gran Colombia 2007 and Mining 2012. Calco, and the Fundación Humana Integral thank you for this generous gift that the teacher makes.

Personally, I want to tell you that the postcard book is a great satisfaction for me, because the first time I saw his work, it was in my teens when I was 13 or 14 years old, I didn’t know much about contemporary art. I saw a decal stuck on a glass of a bus in Bogotá, it was the word Colombia written with the letters of Cocacola. This image captured me powerfully, years later I would find out that it was the work of an artist, who had managed to reach me with that decal, possibly the master did not know of its existence, but that is the scope of the journey of Antonio’s works Expensive.