Chile, oil on canvas, 2019.
What I saw when the giant structure fell to the ground.
When the streets burned, the eyes flew and the dogs showed anger.
There is very little I can and must say about what's up ... so I paint and respectfully withdraw ...
of the moment and of the territory.
Portrait of Augusto Roa Bastos, mixed technique on paper, year 2019. National Museum of Fine Arts of Paraguay.
The portrait of Roa Bastos came to my hands right in the middle of a search ; an investigation that he called "Mestizo Project".
Mestizo was born as the result of a short but momentous trip to Spain for almost two years.
When I see myself recognized as " The Other " for the first time, I begin to question myself about the harmful stereotypes in force, fed by the media, by the covers, by content, by continents, by conquest, by language and by history.
Then the need arises to recognize and enhance the very essence of being an American:
That diversity that we carry in our blood and that is mutating depending on where in our continent and in what way we welcome the sun.
8 months ago I returned to my Andean land but not to Ecuador where I was born, but to Chile, the territory where my grandmother saw the light.
In all this time I gave myself the task of portraying some faces that reflect search and that have aged working on the intangible called Chile.
Violeta Parra, Gastón Soublette and Margot Loyola are part of this series (within the mestizo series) which I call "Eslabones".
"Bridge people" between the Earth and this violent cloud that surrounds us and that at times dominates us ... the contemporary disconnection.
Thanks to the Embassy of Ecuador and Mr. Ambassador Santiago Apunte I was able to find the following link in the chain of continental mestizo bridges: Augusto Roa bastos.
In order to define this portrait in some way, I have decided to tell you an anecdote that I experienced when I arrived in Asunción last week. It is a simple or more good one Technical question that the person who would frame the work did to me.
That question was:
Did you put varnish on it? ...
I must admit that I was the most surprised by my answer and that I immediately understood how wise it was to wait to build these lines only when I had already set foot on Paraguayan lands.
No ... I replied, it is not varnished because this work is a mixture of four different materials and yes applied a specific varnish for some of these I can harm the others.
This Roa bastos does not need varnish because it is mestizo, because if it is tinged its shine could be destroyed.
It is vital to let it breathe freely, that its components merge in total harmony, that it is formed with the rhythm that time marks.
Let your story tell your highlights and shadows.
Like all of us ...
The various ...
The mestizos ...
For Augusto Roa Bastos and the Paraguayan people.
Image use authorization by Osvaldo Cádiz Valenzuela and the National Academy of Traditional Culture Margot Loyola Palacios.
Margot Loyola (1918-2015)
Painted in the month of September 2019, in full Chilean national holidays.
oil on canvas 80 cm by 100cm.
To all chile ...
In my series "Influences" I portrayed my main and most notorious influences on painting, recognizing, analyzing and evaluating the weight that each of these great artists have had, have and will continue to have on my way of painting.
When I was living in Madrid I decided to make my own version of Picasso's Guernica; draw the free and honest lines (Signatures) to recreate it in my own way. The result continues to move me and also generated the need to study and revise the main works of these masters from the “Influjos” series.
Now the 100 years of the birth of Oswaldo Guayasamín are commemorated; so I have decided to pay homage and recognition by painting a first study, my first version of one of the master's most iconic works. Of the series of the hands, the largest, the 122 cm by 244 cm. That painting that paralyzed me for long minutes every time I visited the Foundation.
This is a dual purpose exercise; remembering models but decomposing, looking for a fading of these.
THE VIOLET LINK
Oil on canvas, 110cm by 90cm.
Viña del Mar, 2019.
My homage to this Chilean land that had a link painted in Violet ... between the countryside and the city, between culture and oblivion.
Electricity embodied in women ...
The original genius, wild flower that lives in every rebellious heart ...
The Violet Link
To Violeta Parra
The seeker of the anonymous popular sage
I arrived in Chile, my grandmother's country; the distant territory of which she told me fantastic stories, of her family, of her farewell ... of love. I remembered also that one day I made a promise to always carry an offering with me wherever I land. This time the name of an old Chilean wise man came to my ear, of a person who with his thought, fed from the ancestral, reminded me that I am land and that before belonging to any country, human beings must step on the grass well, feel the sand, sink into the mud, cross the steppe; breathing awake at every moment to be able to open your eyes backwards.
I trembled at every step when I arrived, I recognized myself uncertain, lonely and defenseless; Gastón Soublette's words were truly moving and tremendously timely. It reminded me that we will always have to reaffirm ourselves at our precise moment, perhaps one can be distracted in the world and believe that you have total control over the waters; It is important to realize the mistake as soon as possible and to jump back into the uncertain abyss of a smile.
Don Gastón reminded me that Viña del Mar smells like cold mist in the morning, Cochayuyo, sea salt, palm trees and gasoline; that it does not matter where on earth you breathe; one will have to shake hands with the neighbor and collaborate so that the immediate environment is dignified, warm and enriching.
The Monsters of Velazquez
Oil of 200 cm by 170 cm, signed in Madrid on December 31, 2018. Painting with which I thankfully say goodbye the light of this city, its cold and the opportunity to shelter me; but above all of the collected learning. I leave with some things a little clearer and the promise of being an increasingly better painter and person.
Mixed technique on canvas, 100 cm x 200 cm, year 2018.
Work selected for the 2018 Reina Sofía Prize for Painting and Sculpture.
From March 2 to 18 at Casa de Vacas in the Buen Retiro Park, Madrid.
Picasso's Guernica has such hardness and validity that when looking at it you cannot help but feel the genius of its author and the violence that our race is capable of generating.
It is undoubtedly the most important living picture on the planet to this date.
I have painted three versions of this work in my life. The first in 1995, in full puberty and in green tones, since the reproduction that I had at that time within my reach shone in those tints. It turned out to be a copy, for my current look, very childish but it helped me to understand that to return to Guernica I would have to go through some things along the way.
The second time was on my uncles' wall in Otavalo - Ecuador; It was a fragment of my life in which the idea of dedicating myself to be a painter was beginning to be born until it hurts. I was still tender as I interpreted and I made an image very faithful to the "original" of the book. The result was not very good, a bit naive, and I did not even come close to expressing what this mural really means to the world today.
Finally, in January 2018, in Madrid, when I had already faced the monster face-to-face and in real time, I launched myself into the challenge of interpreting Guernica again.
Without grids and without fear, I began to "sign" on the canvas. Mentalizing my lines towards violence, injustice, chance, Fascism, shapes and bombs. The main intention was Fear and how valid the bombings are still for us. Thus, with Carmina Burana in my headphones, I painted my latest version of Guernica for almost three violent days.
The truth is I am very satisfied but I am sure that perhaps in a few years this version will seem a bit naive to me ... hopefully!
Mixed on canvas, 90 x 90 cm, 2018.
Casa del Reloj Cultural Center, from May 3 to 16, 2018
Paseo de la Chopera, Madrid
Madrid ... the city that has cooled me down more than any other since I exist.
I am grateful for this elegant opportunity to inhabit it and at the same time happy for all the teaching that I will take with me across the Atlantic.
When considering painting for the 55th San Isidro Contest on a Madrid theme, I wanted to portray the large square called Sol here, its architectural surroundings, its streets, etc. Here they say goodbye and receive the years, it is the most popular meeting place among Madrilenians, it is the point where all the numbering for the streets is born. Puerta del Sol is magnificent in itself and is my favorite "corner" in this great city; but I see it from a foreign focus, I am an Andean painter portraying the center of Spain. I carry some data that have been growing with me since I was a child. So I decided to paint Sol, from above, calling it INTI and "FULL" gold.
I have marked the beginning of my farewell to the concept "Homeland" and I think I know since when the idea of belonging to this specific space of the planet came to rot.
Almost a year ago the earth moved and different forces moved between us as well. In the chaos, true heroes and other people became visible who thought it was time to help someone and, in general, each one did what his conscience asked him to do.
But the wretches also appeared, those who are now in all the speakers; those who saw the earthquake as an opportunity to shine and become the chosen ones.
Those who stuck their Sticker on the foreheads of the dead ... those who now seem blind.
I feel in the depths of my heart that not only were the stones removed from the planet, the earthquake removed the earth that kept me planted in the pot.