Latinx Artist Fellowship

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Pepón Osorio

Visual Artist

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In my work, everyday stories are narrated in the subject’s own words. I transform these ordinary personal stories into large-scale multi-media installations that incorporate photography, silk-screen, video, sound, and a multitude of objects that assert the power of the personal as well as the cultural nature of the work. My projects grow out of the familiar in everyday realities.

Best known for his large-scale installations, Pepón Osorio merges conceptual art and community dynamics. Osorio’s work emphasizes the exhibition space as an intermediary between the social architecture of communities and the mainstream art world. He has worked with well over 25 communities across the U.S. and internationally, creating installations based on real life experiences. For almost three decades, Pepón Osorio has been presenting work in unconventional places prior to exhibiting in a museum setting, thus exploring the subjectivity of meaning in art and the multiple meanings that these installations achieve depending on their location. 

Osorio is Carnell Professor at the Tyler School of the Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. His work has been exhibited in El Museo del Barrio, New York (a retrospective); 1993 Whitney Biennial at Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; Museo Alejandro Otero, Caracas, Venezuela; Africus Institute for Contemporary Art, Johannesburg Biennale, South Africa; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Santurce, PR; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, Santurce, PR.; PS1, NYC; Menil Collection, Houston Texas; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wilfredo Lam, Bienal de Cuba, Habana, Cuba; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Institute of Contemporary Arts, Philadelphia PA.; the 27th. Sao Paulo Bienal, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Museum of Modern Art in NYC , New Museum in New York City, and storefronts, department stores and homes in many locations throughout the world. Osorio is the recipient of numerous distinctions including the 2001 Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, an Alpert Award in the Arts-Visual Arts, 1999; and a John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation Fellowship, 2018 United States Artists Fellowship and 2022 Philadelphia’s Cultural Treasures Artists Fellowship among others.

Selected Works

A small blue house is balanced precariously on stilts. A window on the side of the house reveals a head that appears to be screaming surrounded by flames and bottles.
A statue of Jesus stands in the foreground of a barbershop with light pink walls and a checkered floor. Hubcaps and family photos hang on the wall. A large mural of roses and bullets features text reading “Perdóname Madre.” A row of barber chairs and mirrors are covered in flowers, small statues, and have videos embedded into them.
A mannequin covered in needles and magnifying glasses stands on an upholstered chair with outstretched arms between two poles with screens attached to them. Next to the mannequin, an array of glass bottles leads to a wheeled cart covered in string lights and tropical leaves with text reading “Pinche Hamburger.”