Pepón Osorio, El Chandelier, 1988, functional metal and glass chandelier with plastic toys and figurines, glass crystals, and other objects, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 1988, Pepón Osorio, Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool and the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program, 1995.40
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013
Osorio created El Chandelier for a performance piece that explored the life of a Puerto Rican woman living in New York. The fixture is encrusted with doll babies, toy bowling pins, palm trees, plastic animals, and sculptures of saints—the cheap, brightly colored decorations called chucherías that appear in “Nuyorican” households.
El Chandelier is dazzling and light hearted, but the illusion of abundance masks the realities of life in poor urban communities. Osorio saw this kind of making-do aesthetic—creating something wonderful out of nothing—in the apartments he visited when he worked as a social worker. El Chandelier, with its mixed Spanish and English title, suggests the lives of people who find themselves moving between two cultures, making a feast for the eye as a compensation.
Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2011
- Not on view
60 7/8 x 42 in. (154.6 x 106.7 cm) diam.
© 1988, Pepón Osorio
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool and the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program
- Mediums Description
- functional metal and glass chandelier with plastic toys and figurines, glass crystals, and other objects
- Object – furniture – lamp
- Object – toy – doll
- Object Number
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI