In the 80s and 90s, Sergio Trujillo Dávila was one of the gods of advertising in Colombia, his multimedia presentations with hundreds of slides were a trademark; He was responsible, for example, for the launch of Maloka and the image of the Colombian pavilion at Expo Sevilla in 1992. Publicity gave him power and glory, but the plastic arts were always alive in his head.

His father, Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, was one of the great monsters of Colombian art of the 20th century, “Since I’ve known myself, I’ve been my father’s shadow, but his name has always made me identify with him”. Trujillo Magnenat left a classic and indelible work, but his son did not want to paint landscapes and follow his path. In his youth he turned his room into a sarcophagus with life-size mechanical monsters. It was full of tombstones. The hippies of his generation turned it into a place of pilgrimage in the 60s and came to his door from all the cities in Colombia to see his prodigies. The party ended after their honeymoon trip. He arrived home and found his room empty. “My dad threw everything out and painted the walls white; I never told him anything: at that time the decisions of the parents were final”.

He entered —of course— to study Plastic Arts at the National University, he lived the fury of pop art, while his dad twisted with the work Warhol and his gang, “they seemed frightful to him.” Sergio went from Plastic Arts to Mathematics, with Otto de Greiff as a teacher, and was expelled for an acclaimed ‘0’. He went on to Graphic Design at the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University and began an alternative career in which design would become art. And art would become advertising. And advertising in art. His graduate thesis—a series of repetitions and photos of worn-out posters of politicians with Turbay and María Eugenia Rojas—occupies an entire room in his exhibition at Espacio El Dorado, “Almost everything had been lost or stolen, but I found the negatives and reworked them in the darkroom”.

In another room is a series of photos from the 1970s in which he used his family members as models for his visual experiments. And in the basement is the great piece of the exhibition: a multimedia from 1983 in which he presents a powerful self-portrait on four screens; the images show him somewhere between depressed and joking, and in all his facets, he is absolutely moving. “At the time he saved my life”, she says, “I had just gotten divorced and I was sleeping on a mat.” Until now, only his friends had seen him and once Fausto Panesso presented him in Señal Colombia. Today, at El Dorado, Trujillo Dávila presents his book ‘Sergio, the camera and me’. And this is his Self-portrait from EL TIEMPO.

How many cameras does it have?
Lots of old cameras and few new ones; all Nikon and not a single Canon.

How tidy is your file?
I have about 200,000 slides, a fair amount of 35mm negatives and some 6 × 6 cm. I am digitizing them and arranging them by subject.

What are your favorite work materials?
The processes of photography: I take them as search and experimentation mechanisms.

How tidy is your workshop?
Neither much nor little.

What artist, living or dead, would you commission to paint your portrait?
To Francis Bacon.

And who would he tell to take his picture?
To Diane Arbus.

Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala.

(You may want to read: Lydia Azout: Self-Portrait of an Ironbender)

Duchamp or Picasso?
Duchamp and Picasso.

Why did you decide to become an artist?
I did not convert; I was a believer from the day I was born, I knew nothing else!

How many pieces do you think you have produced?
I have no idea.

Do you consider yourself a genius?

Do you have work hours?
As my dad used to say: you don’t have to waste time, you have to produce from Monday to Monday!

What is the artist you most admire in Colombia?
Sergio Trujillo Magnenat.

For you, who is the most important living artist in the world?
Fernando Botero.

(You may be interested in: Antonio Samudio: the man from the alley of delights)

What was the best lesson your dad taught you?
Discipline and rigor.

How was this exhibition born?
José Darío Gutiérrez and his curators, Arturo Salazar and José Ruiz, found a conceptual world that had to be unearthed.

What is the collection you belong to that makes you feel most proud?
That of Alexis Fabry, a great collector of Latin American photography from the last century. He also bought my first photograph and my first drawing.

Do you have any work that you have not wanted to sell?
I have never had the desire to sell; I do everything for me.

The dictator Rojas Pinilla and his daughter María Eugenia Rojas. Sergio Trujillo took the photos of the remains of the political advertising posters with that material he achieved his compositions.

Do you collect works by other artists?
I have a good collection; I exchanged photography and got good works from Carlos Rojas, Manuel Hernández, Alfredo Guerrero… They spoiled me a lot!

What universal work of art would you like to have in your living room?
Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Is digital art the future? Already have NFT?
I believe in analog art; corresponds to the moment of my life, the digital is cold… it lacks humanism.

What is your bedside art book?
I prefer the biographies of the artists I admire, such as Diane Arbus or David Hockney, but there was a book that had a profound impact on me: ‘God is in the brain’, by Matthew Alper.

Why is it worth buying one of his works?
First, for the joy that it can awaken, and second, because it can be a bad or very good investment.

Fernando Gomez

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