Archive for the ‘Artists’ Category

I can’t believe it was 10 years ago that I first started to write a blog on Colombian Art….. it seems like yesterday….. and has been over 7 years since I last posted here! … sometimes “life” just gets in the way of a “good thing”.

Anyway…. there have been MANY changes in the Colombian art scene as well as the internet in the intervening years. So I will start back with a simple post that updates the analysis of the last post: a Google search ranking of well known Colombian artists.

The Google system is a bit different now and only offers a range of data for a year. However there is one clear leader – can you guess who?



10,000 – 100,000 monthly worldwide searches
edgar negret
1,000 – 10,000 monthly worldwide searches
beatriz gonzalez
doris salcedo
david manzur
oscar muñoz
hugo zapata
100 – 1,000 monthly worldwide searches
luis luna
miguel angel rojas
nadin ospina
armando villegas
santiago cardenas
ana mercedes hoyos
jaime franco
maria fernanda cardoso
olga de amaral
jorge riveros
maripaz jaramillo
miguel de la espriella
jim amaral
john castles
rafael penagos
As you can see, the bold names have left this Earth and are on a new artistic plane, so technically this is a slightly different presentation. However the clear leader in the search engine is Edgar Negret.

The other person to have notably moved up the ranking is the sculptor Hugo Zapata.

Those who have notably gone down are: Luis Luna, Miguel Ángel Rojas, and Nadín Ospina. This however could be due to many reasons and I doubt it relates in any way to their art as they all are still very relevant on the Colombian art scene today as well as its international presentation.


Well…. that’s all for today… till next time. 🙂




Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

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.


Read Full Post »

The idea of “conquest” summarizes what is going to be exhibited within the gallery. Two artists, one Colombian and one French, will explore the cultural icons in order to better understand their own culture.

Two similar processes where these values are compared, demarcate territories, demonstrations of power, protect the identity ….
Cultural identity with their symbols and their iconography their materials is at the heart of the discussions and Ceci Arango and Etienne Demange propose it as a medium of contrast to determine their own rootlessness, of which each in its own way has been a victim.

As part of a commentary by Carlos Fuentes: “For a Latin American it is significant that he is not European, nor African, nor Indian, but someone who has to discover himself and create his own face.”

Meanwhile the French Alsace has also been multicultural area where the surnames had to be changed depending on the authority of the day. This is where the two artists began their dialogue, invoking symbols that can serve as landmarks in the nomadic and relocation of the contemporary world.

Ubiquitous information and virtualization that dissipates distances, produces another collective sensitivity, built on cultural plurality and richness of diversity. The fading of the meta-narratives, domination and dependence, central and periphery, are beginning to lose prominence to give way to  the appropriation, the re-assigning, new modes of production where the images, symbols, meanings of the world are used at discretion  to constitute the common heritage.

Proposals referring to a strategic game of domination, but framed within colonial thought, the generation defined by Walter Mignolo as “a universal dialogue,” a world where many worlds fit, and where, as Anibal Quijano says, “the epistemological decolonization is necessary, then giving way to a new inter-cultural communication in an exchange of experiences and meanings, as the basis of rationality that might otherwise legitimately claim to as a kind of universality.”
Etienne Demange performs in the play “Room 1”, a decorated shrine of the first mission built in Cali on the route of the conquerors, invading and capturing materials, as symbols of the Spanish colony to build their own statement of power. Overlap of their own identity on white baskets made from wérregue by the Chocoan Wawnana Indians presenting shapes with bright lines of their own symbols of identity, on ceramic  funeral urns with pre-Hispanic techniques and modified cotton shirts and graphics illustrating the tensions between power and identity.

Ceci Arango, in her proyect “Deco” afro-looking pictures made with human hair taken from hairdressers in Bogota and makes batons looking as if they come from an ancient culture, with feminine silhouettes and  hairstyles of  contemporary people. The work “43 Million”, consisting of 43 chairs in Colombian woods of different color and textures, represents the cultural and ethnic diversity of the country.

Inauguration: Thursday March 5
Time: 7:30 P.M.
Cll.77 No. 12-03

Tel: 6009795

Read Full Post »

danilo_duenasDanilo Dueñas is an artist from Cali and he will soon be exhibiting his work in the esteemed Casas Riegner Gallery in Bogota. His latest presentation uses “objet trouvés” or objects that he has found and combined to create a piece of art according to his aesthetic criteria which he bases on rationality and experimentation – but not chance.

According to Dueñas, even the dust on his objects is art and he has asked the gallery director, Catalina Casas, to guard the dust along with the objects that eventually have to be placed in storage. Strange indeed!

Again, this type of “art” begs the question as to whether behind its presentation there is sufficient seriousness and rationality as the artist claims.

Having fixed an old table to a wall with its top placed against the flat surface and its legs sticking out perpendicularly it might be claimed that where a mere mortal such as ourselves might only see an old piece of furniture, Dueñas percieves lines, light that cuts across the object and shadows that create figures.
Dueñas has had an eclectic way of life because it went from studying law to the theater and from there to paint. His studies were not in a classroom but tirelessly visiting s museum, believing that a good artist should profoundly know the history of art. Ha has also enjoyed the freedom of creative license,  and the ability to be decisive and aggressive through being a self-taught artist.

Today he teaches in several universities, which allows reciprocity and interesting insight into how his students understand things. Today his work is in constant motion, in flux, as a manifesto against boredom and a celebration of life.


Casas Riegner

Calle 70A #7-41


Tel: 249-9194

Read Full Post »

Space has no barriers or boundaries, objects and events that occur there are three dimensional in nature and have a relative position and direction. In his most recent work, Pablo Tamayo questions the boundaries, perception and reading of space. The artist presents his work in formal terms using a language inherent to the study of geometry.

Tamayo explores the interpretations and studies by scientists such as Kant, Poincare, Gauss and Einstein, who challenged accepted theories that defined space, and scientists have transcended the boundaries to touch directly and indirectly other seemingly opposing themes as psychology and religion among others.

With his new work, and using tools, processes and a purely artistic sensibility, Tamayo raises his own questions of space and geometry, and invites the public to participate. The work presents the viewer the opportunity to complete and give meaning to work through how they perceive their environment.

The recent work of Pablo Tamayo is a collaborative effort between the artist and the imagination of the viewer. Thus one of the main functions of an artist: to invite the viewer to question, reflect and participate in the work is answered at this exhibition.

Inauguration: March 5, 2009, 7 PM.
Exhibition: 5-26 March 2009

Arte Consultores
Cra 16 No. 86A-31
Bogotá, Colombia
Tel / Fax: (+57-1) 530-0339 / 616-3863

Tuesday-Saturday: 10am to 6 PM
Sunday: closed
Monday: by appointment

Read Full Post »

chavarro1_miradas_urbanas1 Today I was invited to an exhibition at the “Camera de Comercio” in the Calle 93A in Bogota. The artist, Angélica Chavarro was having an individual exhibition of her latest work, providing a selection of pencil drawings, oil on MDF board and assemblage pieces relating to “Miradas Urbanas” or “Urban Views”.
chavarro2_miradas_urbanas As the artist, who graduated from the Universidad Nacional five years ago explained, while taking a hiatus from exhibitions during which time she started her family, much more of her time was spent at home taking care of her young children and much of what she was experienced was what she saw from her window: views of the urban Bogota, expressed in wires, electrical or telephone cables, the tops of trees and the tops of buildings against the background of the sky. That was what confined her as she kept working on her art from home, what infiltrated her life and thoughts and finally what she came to express through her art. In many ways this was what connected her to the world while expressing what is technically urban culture.

Over the past year, as Angélica has started exhibiting again, and much of the initial thought relating to this experience has been distilled to wires and sky. One of the most interesting pieces I found to be an assemblage of painting, wires and drawing on perspex which I have included below.

To contact the artist you can write to:

or call



Read Full Post »

Older Posts »