Javier Vanegas | VIP

Javier Vanegas is a renowned Colombian artist and professor of fine art in a leading university in Bogota. His works have been exhibited in many museums, festivals and biennales in Colombia, Spain, Brazil, Czech Republic, New York, Miami, Italy and more.

For nine years, Javier Vanegas collected roughly 3,500 “sex cards” from brothels across Bogota. The fact that the women depicted on these business cards did not conform to the Colombian phenotype aroused his curiosity. These cards, featuring photographic images of women in seductive poses, are a tool for selling and promoting sex services. Sex cards in a similar format are also common in other cities around the world, such as Tel-Aviv, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Las Vegas and Madrid.

In his VIP series, Vanegas edited canonical artworks by famous historical artists, which were once (or still are) considered controversial and immoral due to their erotic content. In his works, the artist combined these images with the sex cards he collected, turning them into 2X1.5cm pixels.

The works included in the VIP series are part of the contemporary discourse on femininity, sexual exploitation, the place of women in society, the objectification of women and modern slavery. The works also raise questions relating to the hypocrisy of Western society. These works constitute a “Meeting Point” of a number of artistic, social and political concepts: Contemporary vs. classic vs. modern art; nudity vs. eroticism vs. pornography; legitimacy vs. inappropriateness; original vs. imitation; moral vs. immoral; exploitation vs. hypocrisy; truth vs. fiction; high vs. low; and aesthetic vs. “trash”.

In collaboration with the Colombian Embassy

Javier Vanegas

Drorit Chechik

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