Supply and Demand

Gabriel Orozco's OXXO

Customized cans of Dos Equis for sale at Oroxxo, 2017. Image: Kurimanzutto Gallery

In 2017, artist Gabriel Orozco transformed Kurimanzutto Gallery into a fully functioning, and fully stocked, OXXO convenience store. Mixed in amongst the bags of chips and cans of soda were the artworks themselves, everyday objects transformed with colorful logos reminiscent of Orozco’s paintings—semicircles in red, gold and blue. The artist customized 300 goods ranging from bottles of beer, cans of beans and cigarette packs and offered them for sale at prices set according to the rules of supply and demand, but with a catch. Rather than prices increasing as supply went down, the cost per artwork started at $15,000 and dropped over time to just $60 on the last day of the exhibition. In another twist, visitors were given an Oroxxo Dollar—a fake bill, part US Dollar and part Mexican Peso—to spend on real goods in the store, but not on the artworks themselves. Orozco explained, "It’s a way of collapsing in the same physical space two different systems—the art market, which is about exclusivity and high prices, and the market for everyday consumer goods with their mass availability and low prices. I’m interested in the turbulence that creates."

As is the case with all my work that deals with the interaction of different scales, by superimposing my insignificant sticker over the recognizable logo of a well-known package, the image reveals and cancels itself out simultaneously, just as the insignificance of the geometric pattern that recycles it, producing a new, double visual and economic meaning.

Gabriel Orozco