Reason and Fable

By Patricio A. Polanía

The word postmodernism has functioned as a detonator, not only of imagination but also of feeling. The sense of aesthetic transgression, of play in time and of complete thematic freedom, is appropriate for this era of experiential and formal rethinking.

Nadín Ospina’s work is imbued with this attitude, not only by breaking with the single, linear concept of genre, but also by immersing herself in different historical times. He has also enlarged the size, which gives more vigor and enhancement to his objects, which are now exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Bogota, in the Museum of Antioquia.


Nadín Ospina is paused. Without turning on the tape recorder, we talk about various topics.

PP: Are you using polyester?

NO: Yes, it is a material that allows me great freedom, it is light and technically offers possibilities of execution that are difficult to achieve in other media. My work is slow, I have to make molds, manufacture the pieces and cover them with canvas. Technically the surfaces are the same as any canvas painting.

PP: And the color is sandblasted.

No: The color in my work has to do with the tropics. There is a kind of chaotic lyric in those drippings of color. The color of my works is like skin, a skin full of traces, of marks of time, of sex, of oblivion…

PP: And fragmentation?

NO: It all started with the problem of breaking the unity of the work of art, breaking the limits between painting, sculpture, architecture. There is nothing I should do to the exclusion of other possibilities. I like to give myself all the freedom and in any case intuition has the last word.

Fragmentation is something essential, so that it repeats itself, and signifies the meaning of life. These torsos have something of the fragility of the human condition.

PP: It seems that, for you, the act of painting has something of a battle in it.

NO: The moment of painting is very exciting and there is a kind of body-to-body combat. The thing is gestural, with a lot of action. There is matter and color everywhere. I myself end up completely painted and tired.


PP: Yours is something very personal, as if detached from any school.

NO: Lately I don’t think about my position regarding the changes in art. I’m more in myself, I’m looking inside myself.

I am convinced that the artist invents art all the time and I have always found a way to do things my way.

PP: Even if you make mistakes?

NO: Many times I’ve felt lost, but I think that’s a good thing. If you think you always know where you’re going, you might make a mistake. In art, if you don’t take risks and go ahead, fear immobilizes you. You should always try to surprise yourself.

PP: That is happening to many young people.

NO: The argumentation of postmodernism was something that helped me discover myself and I saw more possibilities.

PP: A kind of exploration of reality at the end of the century?

NO: I am trying to find meaningful things in my environment. There is so much garbage imposed by the media that it becomes difficult to see the truth. Our truth is so simple that it is there and we don’t see it. Our geographical reality, climate, race… My works are signs of this reality that we have and we don’t see.

PP: The Amazon, for example?

NO. Yes. We prefer to see the problems of Europe, North America. It is a terrible lack of roots. I am surprised that Colombians do not know that tapirs exist.

PP: And then there is the rumba, the carnival…

NO: The carnival, the masks, the party, the erotic. These are some aspects that I want to explore because I feel they are very much ours, they are in our veins. People have fun with the music, the party, it’s something very real, very vital…