Since the early 2000s, Sandra Gamarra has produced work commenting on art history and its institutions, emphasising issues related to gender, inclusion and authority. She is best known for paintings that reproduce artworks by other artists. Gamarra does not copy the artwork directly, but uses reproductions in magazines or catalogues for international art sales and exhibitions. Her technique is deliberately painterly, translating the source image into her own distinct style. Gamarra’s approach intentionally raises questions about the nature of authorship and the way in which people frequently experience art through reproductions.
Many of her paintings also form part of a larger project to imagine a new kind of museum, which she calls the Lima Contemporary Art Museum, or LiMac. Originally from Peru, Gamarra created LiMac in the absence of an official Peruvian contemporary art museum. It has no fixed physical location, but exists as a website and through exhibitions and programmes where the artist presents her work. Gamarra describes LiMac as a ‘museum for projects and the project for a museum’. Her selections humorously play with the institutional powers of curatorial selection and display. At the same time, they raise questions about who and what has been historically excluded or exoticised by museums.