Archive for the ‘Art Fairs’ Category

Well, I have been away from Bogota for a while due to traveling, work etc… but since I am back and we are in the full throws of ArtBo 2009 I thought it would be interesting (and a bit of fun!) to do a quick analysis of which Colombian artists are being searched for on the web WORLDWIDE.°

I decided to include some rules!

1. The artist must be alive and kicking!

2. The artist obviously must be Colombian (though I made a couple of exceptions.*)

3. The artist must predominately live and work in Colombia.

(again I may have been lenient in one or two cases given that I do not have all the facts).

Also, all results were confirmed, excluding possible name misinterpretations by the search engine, by confirming that of the first 10 results on the first returned Google search page – AT LEAST ONE of the websites  (10%) had to relate directly or belong to the artist in question and not just a namesake. Some of the artists actually occupied ALL of the 10 results!

So, for all you fuddy-duddies that say “What about so and so . . . they should be in the list!” well, based on the above reason I have left out of contention artists such as Fernando Botero, Carlos Jacanamijoy, and Omar Rayo – all three being well known Colombians artists who have predominantly lived and worked outside of Colombia.

So here is the list of the TOP 21 MOST SEARCHED FOR Colombian artists  – according to Google keyword tool which bases its results on monthly averages over the last twelve months:

 List of Top 21 Colombian Artists

To a large extent many of the names could have been predicted since the art scene in Colombia is still taking baby-steps with respect to other Latin countries such as Argentina or Venezuela – and as such most searches relate to the staple diet of names: Beatriz González, Maripaz Jaramillo etc etc.

What did surprise me though was the HUGE difference in the number of people searching for Beatriz González (6,600) and John Castles  (260) who is a close contemporary of the fabled Bumangues artist. Also it was interesting to see artists Jorge Riveros, Miguel de la Espriella and Rafael Penagos in the list as their work is not so commonly reported on in the Colombian press and media (at least as far as I have seen).

However, it is very interesting to note that Doris Salcedo is neck and neck with Beatriz González. Also interesting to note the number of women in the list – about 30%! Not bad I think considering art is often still a male dominated profession.

I would predict that Doris Salcedo will race ahead within the next few years if her career continues as well as it has. And who knows, maybe some of the “dark horses” at the bottom of the pack will race up the list too. Or perhaps some colombian artists we haven´t considered now presenting at ArtBo 2009 will make the grade!

° I had to use worldwide data as local search volumes in Colombia were just too low for most of the artists. This most probably does add in a factor that distorts the results if there are several people with the same name being searched for – but is the best data that is available.

* It should be obvious that I made an exception with Armando Villegas who is Peruvian but who has lived and worked in Bogota for pretty much the whole of his career as has Jim Amaral who is from the USA.

A number of other well known artists were also searched for but the search volumes were either way too low or they did not result in a first page result. If you think there should be other artists in this list please leave a comment – maybe it will be worthwhile repeating the excercise in a years time!


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Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Maestro "Noble" creating the "Cosmic Vision" 2009 series.Colombian artist Miguel de la Espriella is presenting his latest artworks in the beautiful Caribbean island of “la Hispaniola” in the capital city of the Dominican Republic. These artworks form part of his Cosmic Vision series, a series that began to form around 2004 and which has matured in the last few years to represent his latest expressions in art.

The vernissage is at 8pm on the 11th March in the art gallery Shanell in the Malecon Center on George Washington Avenue. Shanell gallery is one of th top galleries in the Dominican Republic and regularly hosts exhibitions for national and international artists.

To celebrate the presentation of this new set of artworks, fellow Colombian artist and art critic Harold Schmidt took the time to write the following words:

Presenting the New Painting “Cosmic Quantum” of Miguel de la Espriella – “Noble”

Cosmic quantum painting is the continuation of the sequence of dependent images, from the initial to the infinite, because of the shape, color and  vibration of the figures, doing so with the wave of the basic principle of the temperature of beings conceived in the universe. Thus, breaking all the physical patterns of the proportion of the color as if coming from a classical world of another dimension, to experience and challenge an underground river of silenced voices that break down the barriers of logic.

The magnificent brush guided by the skilled hand of the master Miguel de la Espriella “Noble” makes us see parts of other magnitudes that interlock the functioning of the universe, in a powerful alchemy, cosmic, magic, where the application of these concepts of atomic-molecular physics overflows in quantum that form light that are called photons  in their quantum vision effect that includes the panorama of a modern vision of the structure of matter, converting this colorful flaming fire into life like the dissolution that occurs in freeing atoms from their molecular prison from where they emerge to retake their interrupted path in the constitution of matter.

Artworks being exhibited

Here are a couple of photos that I could obtain of the new series of artworks being exhibited…this may even be a scoop! 🙂

"Sol Radiante" “Radiant Sun”

70cm x 100cm



Rayos de Luna “Moonbeams”

70cm x 100cm



Galería de Arte Shanell
Malecon Center, 2do. Nivel, Local 201-B
Av. Geoge Washington No..500 Santo Domingo
Lunes a sábado de 9:30 a.m. a 1:00 p.m. y
de 3:00 p.m. a 7:00 p.m.
Tel. (809) 685 5817  y (809) 472-4761


Presentación de la nueva pintura Cuántica Cósmica

del Maestro Miguel de la Espriella – “Noble”

por Harold Schmidt

La pintura cuántica cósmica es la sucesión de secuencia de imágenes dependientes de la primera a la infinita, por su forma, color y vibración de las figuras, que la hacen con la onda del principio básico de la temperatura de los seres concebidos en el universo. Asi, rompiendo todos los esquemas físicos de la proporción del color como viniendo de un mundo clásico de otra dimensión, para vivencia y reto cual caudal subterráneo de voces acalladas que rompen las barrera de la lógica.

El magnífico pincel guiado por la diestra del maestro Miguel de la Espriella “Noble” nos hace ver parte de otras magnitudes que entrelazan el funcionamiento del universo, en una alquimia portentosa, cósmica, mágica donde la aplicación de estos conceptos de la física atómica molecular se desborda en cuantos que forman la luz y se le llama fotones en el efecto de la visión cuántica que incluye el panorama de una visión moderna de la estructura de la materia. Convirtiendo este fuego refulgente colorido en vida como la disolución que consiste en librar a los átomos de su prisión molecular de donde emergen para reemprender la ruta interrumpida en la constitución de la materia.


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Ifr you have been reading this blog regularly you may have seen the post created over a year ago about the other art fair “La Otra” that arose in Bogota due to general inconformity of several galleries over the way in which the galleries and artists were being selected. Well, I am happy to report that “La Otra” is still alive and well and will be returning to show more artists this year from the 16th – 21st October 2008.

It`s presentation will again occur in the old lithographic factory of Canal Ramirez-Antares not far from the “barrio” of La Candelaria in the centre of Bogota.

This art fair is again being organised by Jairo Valenzuela and will receive almost twice as many galleries this year as compared to last year with additional appearances of galleries from Canada, Iran and South Africa. Local galleries include Casas Reigner and Alcuadrado. There are also twelve independent art spaces for individual artists to present their work to the attending public.

The event will receive the assistance of the curators Ana Sokoloff, Jaime Ceron and Michele Faguet.

The event will be competing directly against ArtBo 2008 in terms of being held during the same dates but is focusing on a different audience that is much more contemporary in its likes in art.

The entrance fee should be less than USD $5 with discounts for seniors and children.

I attended this fair last year and I LOVED it – if you are in or around Bogota on those dates make an effort to get yourself to see the works on show.

Further information can be found at: (+571) 282-6975 / 243-7752

La Otra

(Litografias Canal Ramirez-Antares)

Cr 4 #25B-50 (Barrio: La Macarena)


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Buenos Aires

Over the past few days one of Argentina`s largest art fairs has been talking place. Artists from all over the world have presented their art there. And one of Colombias best known artist sons, Miguel de la Espriella (better known as “Noble”), used it as a platform to launch his latest series of works which form part of the Cosmic Vision series. His work was presented to the Argentine publci by the gallery ArgentinArtes of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Over 50,000 people visit the ArteClasica Fair every year and last year saw more than 400 artworks sold.

Here is a link to a spanish presentation in Arte Al Dia – one of the most popular international art magazines – that updates us on the event. Below is one of the works that was presented.

Arte Al Dia- ArteClasica 2008 – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Miguel de la Espriella - ArgentinArtes

Miguel de la Espriella "Noble" - ArgentinArtes Gallery - ArteClasica Art Fair - Argentina

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First of all I must send a belated congratulation to Ana González for winning the prize for “Best International Artist” out of 850 participants at the Florence Biennial of Contemporary Art (2007). Her triptych artwork “Alicia” was the piece that won her that prize.

Alicia - Ana González

What bugs me about her being awarded the prize is the following: I simply hate it when an artist gets acclaimed through art related to the misery and suffering of others and I believe that in part she was awarded the prize due to the VERY high media profile worldwide of the occurrences in Colombia during December of 2007 when the hostage mediation and return of three Colombians kidnapped by the FARC (a group still defined as terrorist by most countries of the world) was spotlighted by the world´s media. I am convinced that this aided the judges in reaching their decision.

Now, please do not misunderstand me. I think Ms González is a gifted artist and surely worthy of the prize – but I bet you, if we were in the middle of another Tianaman Square type incident, the prize would have gone to a Chinese “political” artwork.

Think about it. Am I wrong? I don´t believe so. And that´s where I wonder if there´s any real artistic value attached to the giving of such prizes when they are tainted by political stains. Sure if an artist wants to relate their art to political activities well that´s fine. But to be awarded a prize based upon that – that´s not fine, unless of course such a message was included within the rules of the Biennial. But of course it isn´t.

So ok, I was not privy to the jury´s discussions and thoughts and I would not want the artist to be disappointed were she to read my words. However, I think that any artist, if their work is based on world events or politics should really stop and wonder if they are being given a prize for their art or for their political viewpoint. Now, that thought may well disappoint some of them or at least their egos. But then most artists have a hard skin when it comes to criticism so I imagine they´ll get over it . . . . but maybe it´ll make them think a bit more about the intrinsic value of the prizes they receive for their “art”. And also, perhaps it will make the judges reconsider how they should be giving out those prizes for to continue such practices is to devalue their worth.

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La Otra” – “the other” art fair ends in Bogota today.This is the contemporary art fair that was set up to challenge the “curatorial” process of ArtBo and they certainly have made a statement!

I was fortunate enough to have been able to visit it yesterday evening, and compared to ArtBo it obviously leaves a lot to be desired as it was done on a very small budget without state or local government assistance.

However, what I can categorically state is that it has been a total success. I do not have confirmed numbers but I do reckon that at least 2000 people made a visit to the old disused building that was a printing house in La Macarena sector of Bogota close to the city centre.

One of the galleries I enjoyed viewing was “Die Ecke” of Chile which is curated by Ethel Klenner. They sold several works for what were pretty good prices (USD $2000 – $3000) while I made my tour. Also present were artists from Valenzuela y Klenner, Cuarto nivel, the Art Room, Casas Riegner, La Cometa and galleries from Mexico and the UK.

The artistic propositions of almost all artists fell into the contemporary style relating to things or objects rather than more traditional paintings or sculptures (though some galleries did present such work)  plus there were quite a few photographic presentations.

Now when ArtBo first opened in 2005 there were plenty of presentations from several local art critics and historians. Unfortunately this year there were none. But luckily there were such interesting presentations in “La Otra”.

So all I would like to say now is that I salute their efforts and I hope they will be able to bring back the fair next year!!!

Congratulations to all those involved in “La Otra”.

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Last night I went to ArtBo. I can only compare it to when I first went in 2005 as I did not make it last year.

Well, as far as I could see although it was very busy it had only about 60% of visitors the first fair had on its maiden night. This may be normal – but I do not think that it is a good sign. Whether it had anything to do with “La Otra” being on as a competing event I am not sure.

In any case, I managed to do a quick round of the galleries which I hope to bring some news on later in the week.

One of the galleries is ENTREARTE which is run by Christopher Paschall and is based in Bogota. One of the artists he is presently exhibiting in his pop art presentation is Maripaz Jaramillo. The philosophy of the gallery is to educate and assist people who are interested in art make the appropriately wise choices.

Here is a photo of them both at the event with a few artworks by Maripaz in the background.

Maripaz & Christo Paschall

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