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Australian art

Contemporary art

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Juan Davila

Chile, Australia

06 Oct 1946 -


Originally from Santiago, Chile, Juan Davila arrived in Australia in 1974 and lives in Melbourne. Well-known for the confrontational content of his paintings and installations that juxtapose pseudo-pornographic scenes with references to famous figures in high art and culture, Davila's main concern is to highlight the political, economic and sexual identities that differ across cultures. The patchwork style of his painting, 'Mexicanismo' 1990, questions the clichéd representation of Third World cultures as "exotic" and invokes the consumer excess of the developed world. Typical of Davila's work are the references to popular culture, kitsch, craft and American modernism, suggesting that identity itself is in a state of continual evolution and subject to the forces of dominant cultural models.

Art Gallery Handbook, 1994.




Media category

Mixed media painting

Materials used

oil, collage on canvas


280.0 x 434.0 cm

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Purchased with assistance from the Rudy Komon Memorial Fund 1992


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Juan Davila

Works in the collection


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 6 publications


George Alexander, Contemporary: Art Gallery of New South Wales Contemporary Collection, 'Popism and screen culture', pg.204-245, Sydney, 2006, 220, 221 (colour illus.).

Anthony Bond and Victoria Lynn, AGNSW Collections, 'Contemporary Practice - Here, There, Everywhere ...', pg. 229-285, Sydney, 1994, 285 (colour illus.).

Guy Brett, Juan Davila, 'Nothing has been settled', pg.2-23, 2006, 8, 9 (colour illus.), 18, 142-3 (colour illus.). fig.9, pl.52. Fig 9 is an installation view

Alan McCulloch and Susan McCulloch, The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, St Leonards, 1994, 774 (colour illus.).

Charles Merewether, The boundary rider: 9th Biennale of Sydney, 'Fabricating Mythologies: the Art of Bricolage', pg. 20-24, Sydney, 1992, 22 (colour illus.).

Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, America: Bride of the Sun, 500 years Latin America and the Low Countries, Unknown, 1992, 248 (colour illus.). 4