Puerto Rican, b. 1955
34.3 x 37.5 x 28.3 cm (13 1/2 x 14 3/4 x 11 1/8 inches) (open)
Helen M. Danforth Acquisition Fund 2001.30
Osorio is known for elaborate, room-size installations that often use humor and kitsch to confront difficult political and social issues. T.K.O. is a kind of miniature installation or three-dimensional collage. Within a bright red velvet-lined box, Osorio placed various objects and tokens that he associates with his native Puerto Rico. These items mingle with images of political figures whom he holds responsible for decades of corruption and violence there. ‘T.K.O.’ stands for ‘technical knockout,’ a boxing term used to declare a match’s end when a still-conscious boxer cannot continue to fight. The cover features boxing gloves with plastic toy soldiers and a dollar sign tucked in around them. Together with the work’s title, the arrangement hints at the larger political story contained inside the box.