Heroes and Anti-Heroes by German Arrubla. Mixed media on wood, 2002. Displayed in the nightclub / art gallery Vina Cure, Medellin

He was like a God, a man with a very powerful aura. When I met him for the first time it was the most important day of my life.

Popeye, Pablo’s hit man

While in Colombia researching an idea for a photographic project called Narcotecture, I found a bag of photographs on Pablo Escobar’s private prison. It set me on a journey for the next 3 years searching for visual material and meeting people who knew Pablo Escobar. Pablo Escobar was ‘the richest and most violent gangster in history’, the head of the Medellin Cartel, which was responsible for supplying 80 per cent of the world’s cocaine during the 1980s. In an attempt to avoid extradition to the USA, he declared war on the Colombian state and thousands died as a result. For this brief web version I have extended the visual intro to the book.