This article is relevant because it shows how the media welcomed and promoted the exhibition Pedro Manrique Figueroa. Precursor del Collage en Colombia [Pedro Manrique Figueroa: Harbinger of Collage in Colombia] (1996), thus granting credibility to the historical, documentary, and artistic records introduced by the artist and critic Lucas Ospina (b. 1971) in his role as curator of the exhibition devoted to the Colombian artist Pedro Manrique Figueroa (1934–1981), the fictitious character created as an art project by Ospina himself. It is important to note that the article records some skepticism in Colombian art circles concerning the character; the critic and curator Eduardo Serrano (b. 1939), for example, stated that: “This artist was invented by some youngsters. However, Pedro Manrique is so thoroughly documented at the exhibition that I find myself thinking that he must have existed.” This document, however, defends the concept and describes Manrique’s archive and work as the result of a miraculous find attributable to Ospina and the other Colombian curators, Bernardo Ortiz (b. 1972) and François Bucher (b. 1972), who were at that time in the Departamento de Artes y Textiles [art and textiles department] at the Universidad de los Andes at Bogotá.
Pedro Manrique Figueroa was first introduced at the exhibition Pedro Manrique Figueroa. Precursor del Collage en Colombia [Pedro Manrique Figueroa: Harbinger of Collage in Colombia] (1996). Subsequently, in the third edition of Valdez magazine (1999), the journalist and critic Carolina Sanín (b. 1973) and Lucas Ospina published a three-chapter summary, using the same name as the exhibition for their title, in which they tell the story of Manrique’s life [see 1133754]. In 2000, the fourth edition of Valdez magazine published another article by Sanín entitled Pedro Manrique Figueroa Precursor del Collage en Colombia: Antropólogo, El educado, El público, Usaquén, Apología a la droga, Teresa Otálora Manrique [Pedro Manrique Figueroa Harbinger of Collage in Colombia: Anthropologist, The Educated One, The Public One, Usaquén, Apologia for Drugs, Teresa Otálora Manrique]. In 2007 the Colombian cinematographer Luis Ospina (b. 1946) shot a documentary on Manrique entitled Un tigre de papel [A Paper Tiger], and Valdez magazine—invited to the documenta 12: magazines project that was part of Kassel’s documenta 12—, published (in their fifth edition) an article by the Colombian critic Víctor Manuel Rodríguez, “On Stage: Pedro Manrique Figueroa and the Rhetoric of Modernist Art History.” On September 29, 2007, in the article “el whisky y la coca cola” [Whisky and Coca Cola] published in the Colombian website www.esferapublica.org, the artist François Bucher stated that Manrique Figueroa was a fictitious character created by Lucas Ospina. The following day the critic and journalist Ricardo Arcos Palma (b. 1968) published the article “Vistazo Crítico 45: Pedro Manrique Figueroa” [Critical Look 45: Pedro Manrique Figueroa] in which he said that it was widely rumored in Colombian art circles that Manrique was Ospina’s creation.
Lucas Ospina, a visual artist at the Universidad de los Andes at Bogotá, did postgraduate work in sculpture at Temple University, Philadelphia (2003). He was the winner at the IV Salón de Arte Joven [Fourth Young Artists Salon] (1994). He has worked as a critic and is a regular contributor to the newspaper El Espectador. He is currently (in 2010) a teacher at the Universidad de los Andes.