Colombia Marlboro

Caro’s Colombia is without a doubt an icon of Colombian art history. Originally submitted to the XXVI National Salon of Visual Arts (1976), Colombia acts as a complex commentary on the increasing consumerism of the time, while poignantly addressing the cultural imperialism coming from the United States. Drawing on the strategies of advertising to “publicize” Colombia, Caro in fact merges the famous Coca-Cola logo with his country’s name so as to communicate a message that raises questions about the relationship between Colombia and the famous soft drink. Originally painted with enamel on tin, Colombia is evidently handmade, yet aspires to be a smooth and glossy company ad; in doing so, it points to contrasting notions including poverty, affluence, desire, seduction, consumption, protection and identity among others.