El Chandelier

  • Pepón Osorio, El Chandelier, 1988, functional metal and glass chandelier with plastic toys and figurines, glass crystals, and other objects, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool and the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program, 1995.40, © 1988, Pepón Osorio

When Osorio worked as a social worker in New York City he often saw elaborate chandeliers hanging in humble apartment homes. This experience led him to appreciate the meaning behind buying tchotchkes and expensive-looking objects. The plastic palm trees, coquis (iconic Puerto Rican frogs), dominos, and tassels that adorn his light source suggest coping mechanisms in the face of adversity and migration. Sculptures of Catholic saints and variously complexioned dolls reference Afro-Caribbean spiritual systems and racial hierarchies. Spanish and English mingle in the work’s title, conjuring a space between cultures and realities.

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013

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Cuando Osorio trabajaba como asistente social en Nueva York, solía ver vistosas arañas de cristal colgadas en apartamentos humildes. Esta experiencia le llevó a apreciar el significado oculto de la compra de chucherías y objetos de apariencia lujosa. Las palmeras de plástico, los coquíes (ranas icónicas de Puerto Rico), las fichas de dominó, y las borlas que decoran esta lámpara sugieren mecanismos para sobrevivir la adversidad y la migración. Las esculturas de santos católicos y las muñecas de varios tonos de piel aluden a los sistemas espirituales afrocaribeños y a las jerarquías raciales. El español y el inglés se mezclan en el título de la obra, conjurando un espacio entre culturas y realidades.

Nuestra América: la presencia latina en el arte estadounidense, 2013

Title
El Chandelier
Artist
Date
1988
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
60 7842 in. (154.6106.7 cm) diam.
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool and the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program

Mediums
Mediums Description
functional metal and glass chandelier with plastic toys and figurines, glass crystals, and other objects
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Object – furniture – lamp
  • Object – toy – doll
Object Number
1995.40
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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