Limerick, Ireland
Jaime Ávila, James Dean Cars, 2002. Photo © Deirdre Power

Jaime Ávila

Colombia, b. 1968

Through multiple mediums, Jaime Ávila examines social, political, and environmental topics in his work. In his projects, he connects ethnography to urbanism, after analysing the idiosyncrasy of the cities and their class and social layers.  In La vida es una pasarela (Life Is a Catwalk, 2002–5) Ávila photographs homeless men and women who pose as fashion models, and uses the dramatic urban perspectives of the city of Bogotá, Colombia, as a backdrop. Each of these portraits is paired with a photograph showing only the city, unto which Avila has inserted miniature LED light bulbs on areas of the image where real light would emanate from, such as lamposts and car lights captured in the photograph. In the work on view, the portrait of a homeless man (nicknamed James Dean) appears as a flâneur wandering the city, which is turning on its public lighting to commence the day. The model’s defiant posture and intimidating gaze captured by the lens, gives him or her a temporal empowerment that confronts the modern world – a world from which he or she has become disenfranchised.          

Jaime Ávila is an artist based in Bogotá, Colombia. Through photography, drawing, engraving, silkscreen, prints, installation, video, and sculpture, he develops projects that connect the actual urban ethnography with a mutant architecture archeology. Solo exhibitions include: Ciudad Perdida, Museo de Arte de Pereira, Colombia (2016); Ciudad Perdida, Nueveochenta Galería, Bogotá, Colombia (2015); Talento Pirata, Nueveochenta Galería, Bogotá (2013): Bestiario, M& Galería, Cali, Colombia (2012); and Cinco Metros Cúbicos, MUSAC, Montería, Colombia (2009).

(Text: 38th EVA International catalogue)

Back to Artists