Last month at VoltaNY, one of the most unique (and possibly disturbing) exhibits was that of Costa Rican artist Mauricio Miranda. The exhibit, Plusvalía (which means “added value”) consisted of: a video showing the artist’s back being tattooed with a grid of ten boxes; a photo of the final tattooed back; and ten, empty plexiglass boxes. In the part-performance-part-conceptual piece, Miranda sells fragments of his skin (10 pieces total) to collectors who wish to acquire them. As a buyer, one receives an empty box along with a contract between the artist and buyer, which stipulates that the fragments will not be released to the purchaser until the time of Miranda’s death. This being a statement about the art market over the past years and the lack of resources for emerging artists.
Miranda, writing about the artwork, includes the following: “The piece arises from an insistence on being able to generate resources to produce my work. I see my work as a gesture of participation in an informal economy. In this piece I sell fragments of myself as an action of speculation about the acquisition of works of art…. The container will ultimately house the fragment of my body. The project becomes a process of waiting for what I may be worth.”
Represented by: Galería Bickar. Top and bottom photos: Allan Sprecher