Here Died Warhol by Eugenio Merino
Spanish artist Eugenio Merino presents an immersive installation criticizing mass tourism and the cultural industry of the city-brand.
Here Died Warhol is an installation by Eugenio Merino featuring a life-size hyperrealistic sculpture of Andy Warhol accompanied by a black granite gravestone. A functioning souvenir shop (including T-shirts, postcards, mugs) and a self-guided tour map of Warhol’s essential haunts (like his first New York residence and The Factory) complete the installation. The intimacy of Merino’s sculpture in the gallery punctuates the cultural tourist’s experience as they contemplate the art and popularity of Warhol’s legacy.
Curated by the Malaga-based collective Los Interventores, the exhibition explores the curiosity and motivation of Adjectival Tourism, including those visiting the Big Apple: not only Warhol’s life, but how and where he built his célébrité, and finally his death close-up —like those who visited the Paris Morgue in the late 1800s.
The installation is a sharp critique of the mass tourism and the cultural industry of the city-brand, examining the clash between the rise of tourist attractions and the needs of the local population; where the real is replaced by a false setting targeted at the visitor. Here Died Warhol is the definitive opportunity to take a selfie with the artist and acquire those objects created to capitalize on the essence of the most famous Pop Art visionary —the sale of the artist’s aura.
The hyperrealism of Merino’s sculpture highlights this conflict between the genuine and the fake within the tourist experience. This frustration transforms the city into a commodified space intended primarily for leisure and consumerism.
About Eugenio Merino
Born in 1975 in Spain, Eugenio Merino graduated from the Complutense University of Madrid. His first U.S. museum show was held at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art (Houston) in October 2015. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions and has participated in a variety of art fairs, including Volta NY, Volta Basel, ARCO (Madrid), Art Brussels, FIAC (Paris), Armory Show, Arte Fiera (Bologna), Art BO (Bogota), MACO (Mexico), Art Wynwood (Miami) and has exhibited in the MOCA Museum of Taipei and the B.P.S.22 in Charleroi (Belgium). Eugenio Merino lives and works in Madrid, Spain.