Pepón Osorio


Santurce, Puerto Rico, 1955. Lives and works in Philadelphia. Osorio received his MA from Columbia University in 1985. In 2006 he had a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and also received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Osorio is currently Carnell Professor in the Tyler School of the Arts at Temple University. 

On Osorio's work

Pepón Osorio is best known for multimedia works that combine elements of popular culture, domestic life and performance in order to address political and cultural issues concerning Latino communities in the United States. Moving to New York in 1975 Osorio spent five years as a social worker in the Bronx and, influenced by this experience, he became interested in how art can effect social change by attending to social problems. Stating that his "principal commitment as an artist is to return art to the community,” his elaborate installations often  evolve from an interaction with the neighborhoods and people among whom he is  working. In fact, while he has exhibited internationally in museums and galleries, Osorio has also presented his works in storefronts, department stores, and private homes in many locations throughout the world. Using a visual vocabulary that incorporates the colorful plethora of pop cultural knickknacks associated with a Latino aesthetic of embellishment and decoration, his work points up how issues of race, class, and economy affect the value that we place upon objects and images. In this merging of conceptual art and community dynamics, Osorio’s art embraces a cross-disciplinary approach where questions of cultural history, identity, and justice are brought to the fore.


You’re Never Ready, 2009
Inkjet print on confetti, MDF support, loose confetti
72 x 96 x 2 inches
Courtesy the artist

You're Never Ready (installation view with Kiki Smith), 2009

*Photo credits: Greenhouse Media


More Info

On view at PAFA
Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building
128 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102