Goldleaf, Ink, Watercolor
Fabriano Artistico 140 grams
10.75 × 16.5 in
New York, NY
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
COCA, after Falso+, is the second in Eliana Pérez’s series about her home country, Colombia. It continues her evocative exploration of the bloody intersection of poverty, violence, and a global market economy, this time focusing on cocaine production and trade within Colombia’s borders. A 24k gold leaf river bisects the cover, one of many scarce natural resources exploited and polluted to produce one of the world’s most valuable commodities.
The accordion-bound pages open to form a 7-foot long row of coca plants, speckled with blood-red fruit. The foliage is first rendered in verdant watercolor, then the dulled green of collaged US currency, and finally devolves into a white-on-white ghost of South America’s most revered and potent medicinal plant. On the reverse, the red of the coca fruit stains through the paper, a reminder of the persistent, inescapable violence that plagues the Campesinos, social leaders, and Indigenous communities. The final spread holds a short text outlining the impact of coca farming on the environment and the Colombian people.
The accordion binding allows the pages to be drawn out onto a flat surface for display, measuring up to 10’ in length.
An oversize unique version of the book is held by the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.
“The book is magnificent, horrifying, invigorating, depressing, enlightening, and now has Catherine and me thinking of ways we can best help convey its message and importance.” – Cynthia Sears, Director, Cynthia Sears Artist Book Collection, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art