Juan Pablo Echeverri died: the Colombian artist who revolutionized art – Art and Theater – Culture

(Also: Happy centenary, teacher Eduardo Ramírez Villamizar!)

Echeverri photographed himself for more than 20 years in a Photo Japan and elevated the self-portrait to an unknown level. He was part of the tribe of Rembrandt and Van Gogh in his obsession with self-portraits; only he was the man with a thousand faces. In the photos of him there is always an unknown personality day after day. He appeared bald or with long hair, with a mustache, with a nerdy student jacket, with a gang member’s sleeve shirt or with a Bolivian hat. He talked about identity and the obsession with seeing ourselves in a photo long before the world became obsessed with cell phone selfies.

His work –beyond his classic piece– always revolved around himself as the main character in a story with many faces. He was photographed as Batman, as Superman or as a Wonder Woman with a downward-pointing mustache. “He was a perfectionist, intelligent and generous; he didn’t mince words either, ”recalls Poveda. People who knew him said that he loved to travel. He was looking for residences all over the world and, during a stay in New York, he befriended one of the giants of world photography, the German Wolfgang Tillmans, who hired him as part of his work team.

Juan Pablo Echeverri: he was 45 years old.


courtesy of the artist

“In the hospital they didn’t let him take a picture,” recalls Poveda, “until the last day he wanted to continue with his work.” Gallerist Steven Guberek – who had an exhibition scheduled with him in October – also remembers the same scene: his desire to have his picture taken in the hospital. “The series that he had prepared was about rock guitarists: he took on the personality of more than 40”. And he remembers that, just in a couple of days, he had an exhibition at the Museum of Art and History of Guanajuato and at another institution in that city.


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