Oscar Murillo is often unfairly characterized by his rapid art market success, which many have associated with the "flip art" collecting trend (buying and "flipping" hyped young artists' work for quick profits). The over-heated market made it possible for Murillo to become a star quicker than most, but it doesn't mean that his art is only valuable in a market sense.

Notably this year, he had a solo exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery in April titled "A Mercantile Novel," which brought 13 workers from Colombia's Colombina chocolate factory to work during the day packaging Chocmelos candies (which were given away for free). His mother worked at the factory, which was clevely re-created in the space of a gallery. Out of many interpretations about what Murillo was going here, one sticks—as he said, "Colombina becomes a catalyst for a conversation about my experience as a human being."

"A Mercantile Novel" positioned Murillo as an artist who, at 28 years old, can fetch high prices while knowing the politics of the art market machine he benefits from. It showed his focus on making work that isn't as easy to sell or communicate with as a painting to prove that he's not simply of and for the market.