Santo Ângelo, 1982. Lives in Porto Alegre
Through an archeology of the present and varied appropriation strategies, Daniel Escobar transmutes ephemeral images of consumption and desire, especially those generated by real estate and tourist advertising, into raw material for art. In Especulação imobiliária [Real estate Speculation] (2014), the artist fills acrylic showcases with Kiddies building blocks wrapped in real estate fliers and ads. In Anuncie aqui [Advertise Here] (2014), Escobar set up an empty billboard at the exhibition venue and offered it for rent as advertising space.
The artist is also interested in the advertising strategies adopted by the art world and its exhibition mechanisms. The installations Conjugado [Conjugated] and Coleção particular [Private Collection], both from 2016, are cases in point. In the first, the artist fills the exhibition space with a domestic environment planned by an interior designer, who was free to choose the room type, furniture, and lighting, as well as an artwork by Escobar to complete the decor. In the second installation, Escobar appropriated pages from decoration magazines that had works of art among the items of decor. The intervention consisted in framing the pages, using acrylic passe-partout to cover up everything else in the images besides the artworks.
Throughout the Triennial, Escobar will present a new version of the series A arte da conversação [The Art of Conversation] (2012), for which he was authorized by the owners of five local commercial establishments to remove a letter apiece from their signage. The borrowed letters were then used to write up the word “sonho” [dream] on the Sesc Sorocaba façade. United in the formation of a new meaning, each letter retains the typographic characteristics and materials of the sign it was lifted from, which has to get along without it in the meantime. The empty space may detract from the effect, but it won’t render the signs illegible. The more attentive passer-by may realize what Escobar is up to: grafting the promise of advertising onto an art institution.