Le Dictateur, Murano Blown Glass, US Dollars and screws, 2016
Alberto Echegaray Guevara (Cayman) also presented his new artwork “Le Dictateur”. The sculpture was selected as one of the “must seen” artworks at the fair. Le Dictateur is a Murano glass blown head filled with screws and bolts, real money and also authentic blood donated from citizens that lived under dictatorships in Latin America. The three components represent the craziness, the greediness and attraction to money and power , and finally the blood of enemies and friends under a dictatorship. The Art piece was acquired by one of the most prominent art collectors in India.
Gold Moneyball. The presentation of the first One Million Dollar Sphere made in Gold was at the Indian Art Fair 2016. The Sphere was specially made for Asia.
Cayman was mentioned in major newspapers as one of the best artists of the Indian Art Fair; that took place in New Delhi from January 28th till January 31st, 2106
The Tribune (India)
MONEY TALKS INDIA
An invitation to encounter the global economy through its monetary system and reflect on the symbolic evolution of society’s relationship with money
In his first presentation in Asia, installation artist Cayman ups the ante yet again with a twist on his experimentation with symbolism and energy. Walk into the Money Talks exhibition at the India Art Fair from January 28 to 31 and you’ll be greeted with a globe containing authentic 100,000,000 Indian Rupees and a $1,000,000 Million Dollars Sphere, all completely destroyed .
To one side of the sphere, there is a piece whose canvas is actually made of sheets of real U.S. dollars, embossed with 24-karat gold appliqués. To the other side, a sculpture of a deranged dictator. A collection of symbols that conjure up ques- tions about the corruption of power, and how our relationship with money shapes the world we live in.
In this collection, Cayman presents his latest take on the global economy with a focus on Asia. What role will emerging economies assume in an increasingly-connected world, and how will the leaders of such economies meet the challenge to lead when the temptation of corruption always looms near?
In 2014, Cayman, took the biggest art show in Latin America, arteBA, by storm with his surprise exhibit featuring a million dollars in a glass sphere in the midst of Argentina’s vulture crisis. And he has had a whirlwind year, as those shredded dollars took him from arteBA to Art Basel Wynwood in Miami, Art Rio in Rio de Janeiro as well as exhibitions in New York City.
Through Money Talks, Cayman continues to insert his particular brand of word play and satire in everything he touches, proving that a seemingly limited material the dollar bill – is for him limitless. “It’s taken me years to shake that cringe factor of feeling like I’m doing something I shouldn’t be doing,” he said. But after sacrificing over the years for his art, the act of intervening in something as sacred as a dollar bill or any national currency is simply a means to an end. “Now I don’t think about it like money,” he said, “and it’s easy to change and transform.”
It was a unique mission—and the world reacted accordingly, as the original installation at ArteBA in 2014 received rave reviews in publications such as Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, the BBC, The Atlantic, Quartz and CNN. Although the exhibited, destroyed money no longer has “value” in the traditional and technical sense of the word, it obtains new significance in the light of Cayman’s work. “This project is ultimately a statement about the unique relationships different cultures have with money, as well as a reflection on the fragility of this monetary system that we have created because of our obsession with acquiring material wealth,” he says. “When a bill is physically destroyed, what does it become? What is its value?”
The pieces being exhibited are unified in theme and in physical properties, exploring different aspects of our relationships and attitudes towards wealth, luxury and power. This time, Cayman developed a special installation for his exhibit in Asia: a sphere filled with one hundred million Indian Rupees, which were destroyed inside the Reserve Bank of India.
Complementing this new piece is Le Dictateur is a sculpture of a man, built entirely by blown Murano glass, whose expression suggests a man driven by a crazed obsession with money and power, his hands stained with the blood of those he felt that he had to destroy. The sculpture is 40 cm tall.
Money Talks also features a new interpretation of the famous artist Antonio Berni’s “La Ramona, the French Ballerina”. Like Berni, Cayman used an embossing plate (using a 3D printing technique) to create the image of Ramona, a fictional character that often appeared in Berni’s works. She was one of Berni’s most famous muses, and serves as inspiration to Echegaray Guevara as well. “To me, Ramona represents the seduction of the material world, luxury and splendor, and the money behind the sex industry that promises a ‘better life.’”
Similarly, the dollar represents ambitions for which so many of us are willing to sacrifice everything. Cayman will also be presenting Good Luck, a piece in which the title is airbrushed on top of a in a light, friendly font that is reminiscent of advertisements aimed at convincing viewers that you, too, can access the American Dream.
LA RAMONA , THE DANCER
Cayman created the piece La Ramona en Medias 2.0 using the same embossing technique as that of famous artist Antonio Berni, who produced much of his work in France. To do so, Cayman developed metal molds using 3D-printing technology to reproduce the print and make the embossing over the sheets of dollar bills. The technique took months to develop, and it is the first time that it has been implemented in this type of embossing using Berni’s work as a model.
Berni began to develop the character of Ramona Montiel while he lived and worked in Paris starting in 1962. Ramona is a young neighborhood girl who lives in the heart of her city. Overwhelmed by her work as a seamstress and seduced by the appeal of luxury as well as false promises of a “better life,” she becomes a cabaret dancer.
For this series, the artist searched flea markets of Paris looking for materials to compose this new character: old sequined dresses, pieces of lace, rope, braids, and other accessories typically used by women from the Belle Époque. Although pho- tographs of brothels in Rosario, Argentina in the 40s appear in Berni’s work, as well as a figure that looks very much like Ramona in the end of the 50s (in the piece La Boda, or The Wedding), Ramona is a product of the artist’s conceptualiza- tion of Paris, growing out of the French cabaret tradition as well one principal figure: the chorus girl.
Through Ramona, the artist explores different aspects of social and historical pressures on women, such as the influence of television and advertising, the configuration of social feminine sensibility and material desires. The artist represents her through her powerful circle of influential friends from all sectors of society: a general, a sailor, a criminal, an ambassador and a bishop, among others, as a star in the café concert circle and in his trips to Spain.
Whether it’s an indian rupee or a dollar bill, currency contains infinite energy. Throughout history, the world’s cultures have developed around a monetary system that increasingly enslaves people in a quest for material wealth. A currency’s value is a reflection of its country’s robustness, while common people infuse paper bills with dreams, using them as tools to achieve what they perceive as stability. All of this occurs despite the fact that the world’s most prominent religious and spiritual traditions consistently warn us of the danger of money and materialism.
Cayman’s work forces the viewer to consider the origins of everyday, ubiquitous symbols and what they reveal about different societies’ relationships with money.