Darío Escobar

Selections from the Nasher Museum of Art
August 1, 2008

Up Close: Untitled (surfboard)

Untitled (surfboard), Darío Escobar, Guatemala, 2001. Silver embossed on plastic. 19 x 75 1⁄4 inches.

Darío Escobar transforms everyday leisure objects such as skateboards, table-tennis paddles, and, as seen here, surfboards into precious items that would seem at home in a royal palace or cathedral from a past era. He does it using a metal-working technique developed in his native Guatemala in the 1600s, when the country was under colonial rule.

Escobar's silver-embossed objects slip between categories of high art and kitsch, mass-produced and handmade. In juxtaposing modern object and ancient technique, the artist creates commentary on the relationships among commercial goods, luxury or religious objects, and the past and present.