Sordid, naïve, grotesque, charming, bizarre, fun, perverted. These are, among others, the adjectives Los Grumildos have received in the last few years. Probably this wide range of opinions is a consequence of the uniqueness of this artwork. Los Grumildos resist labels in the same way that that their performance does: Kinetic theater, art installation or puppet performance? Hard to tell.
The only consensus is that they are plasticine-made hyperrealist automatons and the brainchild of the Peruvian artist Ety Fefer.
This voyeuristic experience was inspired in characters that inhabit the shady areas of downtown Lima, Peru. However, they could belong to any red light district area of urban cities such as Sao Paulo, Barcelona, Bangkok or New York. Fefer creates a world that is a home to those marginal creatures that tend to be rejected and despised by society. The hyperrealist details and extreme expressions of each creature bring out their most intimate feelings. Through this newfound zone of comfort – and humor- these creatures’ reality is reinterpreted and their humanity restored. The narrative is left to the viewers.
Ety Fefer (Lima, 1973) is the creator of a parallel universe inhabited by automated creatures named by her with the name of Grumildos (www.grumildos.com). These sets of mechanical figures in the past seven year have traveled nearly 40 cities worldwide –from Australia, to Brazil, to the Norwegian North Pole. The unclassifiable nature of the work has allowed Fefer to exhibit in amazingly diverse environments, including visual arts, scenic, robotic or electronic music festivals, cultural centers and galleries. José Tola met Fefer in 2002 during her first exhibition in Lima and invited her to visit his workshop. Since then thay have maintained a creative dialogue whenever she is back in Lima. This informal relationship evolved into a 3-year collaborative project when both set out to create a joint work. The result is “Warriors, Monsters and Beasts.”