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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

Mixed/Canvas

2009

Rayos de Luna “Moonbeams”

70cm x 100cm

Mixed/Canvas

2009

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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Fernando Botero in his workshop
Wow! So the world renowned Colombian artist Fernando Botero is being investigated by the Italian “financial police” looking to recover what they say is owed in taxes – only the princely sum of one million dollars US.

Botero says he owes nothing wrong and has only given work to over 120 artists and artisan of Pietrasanta, Italy over the last 20 odd years. The police on the other hand say that since the sculptures are completed in Italy and then sent overseas to clients and galleries, that there are taxes to be paid and not just by the workers – but by the master himself.

Botero is indignant. He says he owes nothing and has broken no laws and if the Italian government continue to hound him he will leave the town and take the jobs he provides elsewhere!

What should Botero do?

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Wow!

This newspaper is really on a roll! Talk about selling culture to the “barrios”!

You can get a book AND a serigraph from the biggest editorial in Colombia for the princely sum of just $10.00 from El Tiempo starting with an AWESOME work by Ana Merceds Hoyos – really it is unbelievable. Let´s face it, most serigraphs cost much more to produce and you get a free book on art.

Really i need to hand it to the guys at El Tiempo for trying to stimulate the public in Colombia to take a greater interest in the countries culture and art and making it accessible for anyone to buy! Just go to your nearest Servientrega with the coupons from El Tiempo or your subscribers card and make your purchase!

Kudos!

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Wow !! Looks like a big number doesn´t it?!

Unfortunately it is in Colombian pesos . . .however, it is still a tidy sum of around USD $450.000.

Which for Colombia means it was one of the biggest sales ever.

The auction was arranged by Maria Victoria Estrada and Ana Sokoloff and was held to raise funds for Colombian charities such as Conexión Colombia, Colombia Diversa, Fundación Genesis y Fundacion Juan Felipe Escobar.

Ana Sokoloff, who has worked with Christies in New York, and with many galleries in Bogota selected the artists for this auction with an eye on maintaining high quality latin american artworks in the auction. The auction was held in the top Colombian gallery “La Cometa” which is run by Esteban Jaramillo and has held exhibitions in the past of artist such as Luis Luna, Jason Galarraga and Le Parc.

Through this successful auction more than 600,000 Colombians should benefit in someway through the application of the money within the charities that are to benefit from some of the proceeds.

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San Basilico

The El Tiempo newspaper, published in Colombia is perhaps the only newspaper that has a national reach in Colombia, so it is good to see them promoting art through their latest release of books called “Arte Explicado” or Art Explained which details what makes a great artist or artwork. The web page can be found below.

Now, to promote this new product they are selling, they are making available free serigraphs of the artwork of two well-known colombian artists: Ana Mercedes Hoyos and Maripaz Jaramillo. Also, a lithograph by Carlos Jacanamijoy can be purchased. Their price is $20.000 – about USD $10 – for the book and the serigraph. That is a pretty good price for a serigraph – can´t beat free! – and it would be great to get one and get it signed by the artist! The idea of releasing art in this way and making it more available to a wider public is also pretty cool. I can only imagine that thousand of such serigraphs and lithographs must have been made . . .

Now here´s the rub. What disappoints me about this whole thing is that they are promoting artists who are already well-known and so are being reflexive (as George Soros would say) in their marketing. To put it more simply – they are providing the market with positive feedback to expand the names of these artists. There are THOUSANDS of excellent artists in Colombia but will they have the chance to present their work via El Tiempo – I doubt it. So while the newspaper “appears” to be democratizing the availabilty of art to the public, they are really just reinforcing a niche for those artists who have already “made it”. And I do think that is a shame. Tsk tsk El Tiempo, get yourselves out of the rut you are making and widen the doors for the other artists that are trudging the path of recognition – and give them a hand up too!

As for the quality of the artworks chosen – I am very disappointed in the new work by Jacanamijoy – it leaves a lot to be desired and is not at all in the style he is known for. Also, by publishing it as a lithographs really demerits, in my opinion, his work in relation to the other artists.

Find out more at the following link – hopefully more newspapers will follow this lead worldwide!

The idea itself is good – but maybe it requires more thought, and a bit less positive feedback!

El Tiempo: Arte Explicado

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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)

Bogota

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