Jose Leon Cerillo

Jose Leon Cerillo | Mexico | "Untitled" | 2007 | 62 cm x 52 cm each | Inkjet-print on 100% cotton

The Mexican artist José León Cerrillo, born in 1976 in San Luís Potosí, uses his multifaceted oeuvre to question what exactly makes a painted picture a work of art. Cerrillo examines the discursive function and the “social character” of painting by provocatively paring a picture down to a decorative pattern or by experimenting with the many different ways of presenting a picture.

Cerrillo, who studied at the School of Visual Arts from 1994 to 1998 and at Columbia University in New York from 2001 to 2003, and who now lives in Mexico City, often integrates everyday objects, such as simple potted plants, into the exhibition space, or he cuts his pictures – usually painted with acrylic paint – into strips, which he then leans up against the wall side by side.

His picture “Eden, Eden” (2002) is not intended to be hung on a wall; instead, it is propped up against the wall with the aid of a pedestal. By allowing wide rivulets of paint to stream down the curved pedestal onto the ground, Cerrillo questions the relationship and the boundaries between the exhibition space and the painting itself.