Iván Navarro makes complex light sculptures, developing the notion of energy conversion through objects and installations made of everyday objects, which he links to a critique of power. From a very early stage in his career, Navarro has pursued h...Iván Navarro makes complex light sculptures, developing the notion of energy conversion through objects and installations made of everyday objects, which he links to a critique of power. From a very early stage in his career, Navarro has pursued his agenda by revisiting and rewriting both the art historical cannon and historical events. His diverse references range from Gerrit Rietveld's Red and Blue Chair, through the familiar IKEA Billy bookcases, to images from his childhood in Chile under Pinochet's rule.
Navarro's current show features works from his renowned series Nowhere Man (2009), based on the Olympic pictograms designed in 1972 by the German designer Otl Aichel, as well as his more recent work Manhole (Icon) (2011). Navarro uses a simple yet sophisticated "alphabet" made of sticks and circles to create figures that are schematic representations of the main Olympic sports. Made of ordinary mass-produced fluorescent lights, each figure is built according to the "ideal proportions" theorized by Leonardo Da Vinci. The ghostly, standardized athletes from "nowhere" recreate through mundane objects a notion of perfect beauty, pointing out the complex connections between the humanistic tradition and the body in the post-industrial age, and questioning the ideology and the universal pretensions of the Olympic ideal.
Iván Navarro was educated in Chile and currently lives and works in New York. He is one of the most interesting Chilean contemporary artists on the international art scene. He has exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America, and has recently represented Chile at the 2009 Venice Biennale.