Gabriel Orozco was born in Mexico in 1962. He works in diverse media, including sculpture, photography and installation. He lives and works in New York.
Gabriel Orozco’s work captures transient human traces in the urban environment. Often, his raw materials are so inconsequential or fleeting - balls of wet sand, a breath on a piano surface, wet tyre marks on a road - that his works are preserved only in photographic records. He rarely makes things in the studio, preferring a nomadic approach that allows for casual encounters with the ‘spontaneous poetry’ of the city.
In 1995 Orozco undertook a residency in Berlin. He bought a yellow Schwalbe (swallow) motorcycle to travel around the city. Roaming the streets in search of other Schwalbes, he would photograph them next to his own vehicle. Orozco then left a note for the owners, inviting them to a party to be held in the car park of the Nationalgalerie in Berlin. This event was conceived as a way of drawing together the dispersed owners, like migrating swallows.
This work consists of forty photographs of these encounters. Orozco presents the motorcyles as if they were human, captured as they are in a variety of social situations: a group gathering in a public square; a couple sharing a clandestine moment in a quiet part of town; a fortuitous meeting on a busy street. The use of repetition helps build an urban narrative, although it is left to the viewer to construct the full story.
Orozco has said of his work: ‘What is most important is . what people see after looking at these things, how they confront reality again. Really great art regenerates the perception of reality: the reality becomes richer.’