In Oscar Muñoz’s Re/trato, a hand uses a brush to paint a face on a concrete sidewalk with water. Before the image is finished, the beginning of the portrait has evaporated. The painting continues, and the portrait is in a constant state of reconstruction. Muñoz’s ephemeral material creates a work that meditates on the impermanent nature of images and the transient nature of life.
Oscar Muñoz was born in Popayan, Colombia, in 1951. Producing conceptual pieces in film, photography, and sculpture, Muñoz’s work explores the limits of memory, human loss, and the impermanence of the image. A recurring pattern in his practice is the attempt to capture a portrait in evanescent mediums such as human breath, water, and dust. Muñoz’s work has been exhibited in solo shows in galleries throughout the world and has also been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; El Museo del Barrio in New York; and the San Diego Museum of Art. Muñoz was also a participant in the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. He lives and works in Cali, Colombia.