Thursday, 4 February 2016

ALWAYS SHAMELESS, BY EUGENIO MERINO

18:09 - By ART FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 0


“Always Shameless” is the culmination of a project Merino began in 2011 with Always Franco, a life sized sculpture of uniformed Spanish dictator Francisco Franco preserved in a Coca Cola refrigerator. The Fundación Nacional Francisco Franco, an organization dedicated to preserving Franco’s legacy, quickly sued the artist over the sculpture as well as for a second sculpture the artist created of the dictator. Merino went to trial twice to defend his freedom of speech and won both cases.
Despite the legal setbacks, the artist has continued his series of sculptures of political figures for the exhibition. The title of the show “Always Shameless” is a play on the 1993 Coca Cola slogan “Always”. Merging the political nature of the artist’s sculptures with the branding of a universally recognized product brings these ultimately dark and poignant works into the more accessible forum of popular culture.
Merino’s work undoubtably reflects his struggle as a politically active and controversial artist. Speaking directly to the issues of manipulation and control throughout the 21st century, his works challenge the artistic and social limits his subjects have set upon their respective societies. Their legacies have been preserved simply through our participation in keeping their reigns alive;“it seams incredible that General Franco is still oppressing artists in Spain from beyond the grave”(Jonathan Jones, The Guardian).
Eugenio Merino's website

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