Julio Galán

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (MARCO)

Julio Galán’s inventive mix of Mexican kitsch and contemporary pictorial styles has won him international attention for nearly a decade. An early but timely retrospective of this work unified what have often seemed like discordant gallery shows.

Galán’s decorative early tableaux (1982–84) share a school girl’s predilection for pretty colors, frontality, and simplification. The children, toys, figurines, and animals depicted in these cute dreamscapes refuse to be anchored or linked. Beneath the apparent innocence of such cheesy and crowd-pleasing surrealism, there is something disturbing, perhaps perverse about these paintings. In Niña con vestido de animalitos esperando veralgo que no to puedo decir (Little girl wearing an animal-print dress waiting to see something I can’t tell you, 1983), a fair-haired child faces a window that looks into the picture’s void. In addition to preventing the

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