Elisa Insua is a visual artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina, working with discarded materials to create large assemblage-collages, sculptures, and installations. Combining her background in Economics and Business with her artistic practice, Insua’s work reflects upon consumerism, capitalism, ecology, and human insatiability. The artist is represented by MTArt Agency since 2019.
Usually drawn to many elements of pop culture, Insua is especially inspired by the rap and hip hop universe – with its explicit lyrics and its unapologetic loads of “bling”. Gold, as an element and as a colour, is a regular component used within her work, both in relation to the sacred and the profane. The two elements are united, confronted and intertwined. The profane is sacralised and the sacred is profaned. Enrichment and accumulation appear as religious dogmas, while gods are reduced to mere commodities. Ambition appears both as a vital drive and as a fatal sin.
Insua has participated in numerous group shows in South America and Europe, including “Ludica” at MACSur (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo del Sur, Buenos Aires, 2018), “Memento Mons” at Beaux Arts Mons Museum (Mons, Belgium, 2019), “Slight Omission” at Cerquone Projects (Madrid, 2018) and “Proyecto Vergel” at María Casado HG (Buenos Aires, 2016).
Economic studies are based on a series of basic principles: one of them states that, for any given individual, “the more, the better”. My work tries to push this axiom to the limit of excess and abundance, in order to tense it, question it or even defy it.
My pieces are about desire, opulence, ostentation and luxury. I apply the concept of the “hedonic treadmill” (the tendency of humans to return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite increases in wealth or the achievement of major goals) and the straight-forward myth of King Midas and his Golden Touch. Social ascent, the “American Dream”, economic inequality, endless irresponsible consumption and the effects of capitalism are also recurring themes.
Although I usually draw many elements from pop culture, I’m especially inspired by the rap and hip hop universe – with its explicit lyrics and its unapologetic loads of “bling”. Gold (as an element and as a color) is also a persisting component of my work, both in relation to the sacred and the profane. In my pieces, these two are united, confronted and intertwined. The profane is sacralized and the sacred is profaned. Enrichment and accumulation appear as religious dogmas, while gods are reduced to mere commodities. Ambition appears both as a vital drive and as a fatal sin.
Ultimately, through my pieces, I seek to shed light on how money, as an abstract and powerful force, constantly and silently affects our behavior, as if it were the force of gravity.
Circumscribed MovementDiscarded plastic and metallic objects with wood 152.4 x 122 cm
Consumo Cultural Descartable IIPlastic Objects on wood 190 x 142 cm
FIAT MoneyPlastic Objects on wood 180 x 110 cm
Private PropertyPlastic structure covered in metallic objects 80 x 80 x 30 cm
Collective Goals IMetallic objects on wood 110 x 110 cm
Collective Goals IIMetallic objects on wood 110 x 110 cm
Collective Goals IIIPlastic and metallic objects on wood 160 x 160 cm
Opulent Abstraction I , 2018Metallic objects on wood 122 x 72 cm
Capitalist RealismAcrylic on Canvas 70 x 50 cm
Distorted Value , 2019Metallic objects on wood 120 x 180 cm
For Sale , 2017Mixed Media on wood 220 x 165 cm
Made in China , 2014Assemblage on wood 125 x 150 cm
One Dollar Bill , 2014Mixed media on wood 107 x 250 cm
Opulent Abstraction II , 2018Metallic objects on wood 122 x 72 cm
Stairway to Heaven , 2014Sculpture 300 x 200 x 100 cm
Stereo III , 2016Readymade intervention 40 x 15 x 30 cm (15.7 x 5.9 x 11.8 in)
Superself II , 2018Mirror and metallic objects on wood 75 x 50 cm
Superself III , 2018Mirror and metallic objects on wood 75 x 50 cm
The Outer Surface , 2015Object intervention 58 x 50 x 17 cm
Treasure Hunt , 2015Wood and acrylic structure with metal intervention 30 x 35 x 70 cm
Follow Elisa Insua on Instagram@elisainsua