Iván Navarro (1972)
Iván Navarro is a visual artist who works with light through neon and mirrors to create sculptures and installations of social and political significance.
He was born in 1972 in Santiago, Chile. His oeuvre is profoundly marked by the dictatorship of Pinochet, as can be seen in his choice of media and in the works’ meanings. During his childhood, Navarro was accustomed to blackouts, when electricity was cut off to keep people isolated within their homes. ‘All the works I have made make reference to the exercise of control. Electricity was a way to control people.’
An example of his work that is imbued with the history of his country and addresses contemporary political debate is You Sit, You Die, which comprises white fluorescent tubes in the form of a chaise longue. ‘This is my version of the electric chair’, he said, electricity being one of the Chilean government’s favourite means of torture. But the work also responds to the news: upon the paper seat, he wrote the names of each person executed in Florida by the electric chair, ‘to testify to the death penalty in that state’.
Navarro also works with mirrors, in which spectators become lost in an apparently infinite space, while phrases or neon structures arise to suggest what is on the other side. This construction also refers to Navarro’s childhood fear of being kidnapped. He admitted, ‘there is fear contained in my works’.
His exhibition Fanfare at the Galerie Templon in Paris in 2017 offers a unique visit that questions the relationship between power and music, identifying the ambiguities of language and demonstrating music’s social power. The installation features silent and still works which emphasise the bridge between optical effects and sound.
Currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Iván Navarro represented Chile at the LII Biennale in Venice in 2009.
His works are featured in numerous international collections, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the San Antonio Art Museum in Texas, and the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.
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Art works from Iván Navarro
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