Eduardo Portillo

1986 · United States

Artist biography

Eduardo Portillo is an early career emerging artist, who originates from the United States, like other artists such as Joy Al, Jacin Giordano, Ellen Carey, John Arsenault, and Harry Gotleib. Eduardo Portillo was born in 1986.

Historical Context of United States

The United States, particularly New York city, remains as a central point that has played a substantial role in developing modern and contemporary art in the twentieth century. The idea of New York as a new multinational and highly powerful art centre emerged in the post war era, and the city succeeded in asserting its dominance over Paris, which used to be considered as the most powerful global art centre.

The authority of the political and economic institutions of the United States in the modern sphere has provided the country with a prevailing influence on the visual culture of the world. Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, Neo-Expressionism, Graffiti and Street Art, are essential art movements that flourished in the United States. These very movements also reverberated into a myriad of variations, such as alternative forms of Abstract Expressionism, as well as East and West Coast adaptations of Pop Art, among others. Some internationally distinguished U.S artists of the modern age include Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

Further Biographical Context for Eduardo Portillo

Born in 1986, Eduardo Portillo was largely influenced by the 1990s. Art in the 1990s was defined at the start of the decade by a group of artists in the United Kingdom that came to be known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists. They were a diverse collective of artists, affiliated loosely by their age, nationality, and their association with Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Art in London, as well as being favoured by super collector of the time Charles Saatchi. The most famous artist of the group is Damien Hirst, who was also an early organiser of group activities. Other members included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Wood. Much of their art became famous for shock tactics and the sensationalism of both material and message. They also became known for their use of throwaway materials, wild-living, and an attitude that was simultaneously counter-culture rebellion but also entrepreneurial. They gained considerable amount of media coverage and dominated British art during the decade. Their international shows in the mid-1990s included the now legendary ‘Sensation'.

Conceptual photography led by German ideas and artists came to prominence. Artists like Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, and Wolfgang Tillmans gained international recognition, and inspired other artists such as the Canadian Jeff Wall, who experimented with the kind of cinematic expansiveness associated with the German artists’ work. Painters like Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger exerted a strong influence on younger artists.

Also gaining prominence at this time was an emergent trend in Japan related to the huge boom in advertising and consumerism that took place during the economic dominance of the 1980s. The indigenous comic book culture of manga, allied to trends in advertising, graphic design and packaging, saw a young artist called Takashi Murakami develop his theories which he coined ’Superflat’. Influenced by his experiences in New York City in the mid-1990s, Murakami formed an influential group called Kaikaikiki, which became internationally renowned as an artistic group.

A proliferation of trends characterised the decade, including the highly irreverent sculpture of Maurizio Cattelan, and extremely sensitive advancements of conceptualism as evidenced by the work of artists like Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

Relational Aesthetics became a key idea. It was a term created by curator Nicholas Bourriaud in the 1990s to describe the tendency to make art based on, or inspired by, human relations and their social context. Works by artists such as Douglas Gordon, Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parenno and Liam Gillick were described as important artists who worked to this agenda.

Eduardo Portillo

  • Exhibitions 3

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