Wilson Díaz


Un banano, from the series “Enciclopedia cómica”






100 x 70 cm


Acrylic on canvas

Credits: Collection of Lina Rodríguez

The painting Un banano, from the series “Enciclopedia cómica”, is an appropriation of a very popular chromophoto that circulated in Latin American countries in the 1970s and 80s. These chromophotos were collected by children in an album called Enciclopedia cómica that had an educational purpose. The images were children’s illustrations featuring anthropomorphized animals, fruit, vegetables and minerals. Sometimes the illustrations depicted tragicomic scenes, such as the one where a banana slips on its own skin. Diaz firstly obtained some of these illustrations for a project led by fellow artist Rosario López under the banner of the 10/10 project in Bogotá, that consisted in inviting ten artists to create installations in the General Santander School in the North of the city. In the context of this project, Díaz decided to create murals based on some of the illustrations obtained from the Enciclopedia cómica. The pictures were very carefully selected so that the display spaces interacted with the images. For example, for the spaces where students ate their lunch, Dia selected works that referred to food. In this way, the tautology of the images served as a kind of critical commentary. In the same way, the image of the banana slipping on its own skin refers to the artist’s reflection on the tragedy of Latin American nations that seem to fall and slip as the result of their own misfortunes. Therefore, this image has become part of a recurrent iconography in various projects created by Díaz in different contexts, amongst them the Locombia exhibition, organised by Fernando Arias (2006), a performance piece created with the French artist Arnaud Labelle-Rojoux (2003), the exhibition Cómic in the James Colman Gallery (2004) and the Sandwich Men Project (2006) alongside Elkin Calderón.