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Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

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

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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 is one of the worlds richest artists. His workshop which manages the production of monumental which are placed worldwide employs around 100 people – now that`s hard to imagine – in Italy, so we are talking about paying people in euros not pesos!

With an average wage of around €20.000 per year then thats over €2.000.000 on wages alone – wow! I bet even Damien Hirst doesn`t get close to that sum for the people he employs. Anyway – to pay out so much money (and I would suggest that that sum could be doubled in relation to purchase of bronze and traveles and exhibition expenses etc) Mr Fernando Botero obviously has to generate quite a tidy sum of cash each year. I would suggest that it might be around USD $10-20.000.000. Big business indeed.

So . . . . . .

What Does Botero Do With All His Money?

Well he obviously has a very enjoyable lifestyle, but just recently it was revealed that Botero actually gives a lot of cash away. He is a philanthropist. Not perhaps in the league of Gates or Buffet but he is actually very generous with his cash.

Let me list a few items:

  • Botero Prize for Art (annual) : USD $50.000
  • He set up a Senior Home for older poor elder people in Bogota:Est. $300.000
  • He set up a system to pay for children’s food in the poor Choco province :Est. $20.000 / year
  • He donated $200.000.000 worth of artwork to Colombia for its people to enjoy.

Botero’s philanthropy, in fact, was often low-profile and most Colombians, apart form his museum donation and art prize would not be aware of his other philanthropic work. He most truly is a most wonderful person.

You can read more about this story and an interview by Daniel Chang with Botero at the link below.

Botero Interview on his Philanthropy

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Find out more on Botero:

The Art of Fernando Botero

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One of Venezuela´s top artists, Jason Galarraga, is presently exhibiting his most recent works at the “La Cometa” gallery in Bogota.

This work being shown is the first major individual exhibition of this new series of artworks created by Galarraga.

Vestigial traces of his symbolic figurative pieces from the nineties are still detectable, as one would expect, but what was vestigial in the works of that period – typesettings – have come to the forefront in these new works – and to great effect.

The exhibition is called “Paginas” (Pages) and its main theme is developed around the construction of graphics & typesetting as pertinent to news-sheet or the printed press designs. So what does this new symbolism mean – well, “visit the exhibition and see for yourself may be the artists” reply. Galarraga likes for each person in his audience to participate in finding and deciphering their own meaning from his works.

As you may guess given the nature of his most recent work, it comes as no surprise that Galarraga studied Graphic Design before deciding to become a full time professional artist. And shortly after that decision he made his way to one of the world´s art capitals – Paris, France – to learn from the best. But now he is back in Latin America showing his work in different countries in the continent.

Already several large works have been sold with the exhibition only having been open two days – so I am sure it will be a commercial success for the gallery and the artist – but most importantly, Galarraga´s work is creating a new expression in the language of art from Latin America – one that will be heard worldwide!

Jason Galarraga - Exhibition in La Cometa

Jason Galarraga beside one of the earlier pieces of
his most recent artworks.

La Cometa
Cr 10 #94A-25
Bogota, Colombia

Mon – Fri9am – 7pm
Sat 11 am – 6pm

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About a year ago I found a book on Colombia in Panamericana (a Colombian cross between “Barnes & Noble” and “Staples”). It was the kind of book I love to see – one that promotes the beauty to be found in Colombia. Chock full of wondrous photos mostly taken from the sky of landscapes of Caldas (“La Tierra del Café”) – the coffee growing region of Colombia. I noted then and there the name of the photographer – Carlos Hoyos – for one simple reason – I knew these photos were special.

You see, I have seen and read many books on Colombia and its landscapes – some are just great – others extraordinary and it is in this class that I place the books created by Carlos Hoyos and the photographs that illustrate them. Simply extraordinary.

So, you can imagine how I felt when a reporter friend of mine called me up today and asked me if I would like to join him in a meeting he had with this renowned photographer – of course I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn´t want to meet the man responsible for adorning coffee tables of homes and libraries worldwide with his photos showing Colombia in all its splendor.

So just after 10am today I caught up with Carlos Hoyos at the Quinta Gallery (run by Mauricio Quintero) in Bogota. There I got the chance to see his latest works taken from around Colombia. They all have a blue tone to them created directly by the artist during the process of creating the photo and all have been mounted on a clear plexi-glass to protect and present the photo artwork.

Here is one taken in Buenaventura on the Pacific coast.

Muelle - Buenaventura, Colombia (Carls Hoyos)
“Pier”

Isn´t it gorgeous !? You can just feel tranquility ooozing out of the picture.

And here is another from the northern coast near Cartagena:

Tree and Cloud - San Simon, Cartagena

“Tree & Cloud”

These photographic artworks can be seen on the web at: Quinta Gallery or at the gallery in Bogota. Here is a picture I took today of Carlos.

Carlos Hoyos - Colombian Photographer

Carlos Hoyos

I could go on and on about the special aerial techniques that Carlos uses to get his best architectural shots – but if you really want to find out more you can read about it in the following book in which his work really highlights the architectural beauty of the Colombian coastal city of Cartagena:

Carlos Hoyos - Cartagena de Indias - photos

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Women in Art

If you look at the art world in general it is very rare for a woman to “make it” and to get the recognition her art deserves. In Latin American Art I can only really name Frida Kahlo, Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo as being well known. Of course there are many more, but I do not believe they have received the same interest from the more general media as those mentioned. And, for the moment, the same is true of the relationship the media has with the work of Debora Arango. Strangely, as for most artists, much of the recognition start to come with their death!

Debora Arango

Debora Arango died at the age of 98 in 2005 and was one of Colombia´s female pioneers in the always male dominated world of art. In general I believe that the media in Colombia have been very generous in their recognition of her contribution to the arts and have given her work continual support even after her death in 2005. Indeed, right now her work is being exhibited in the Cabañas Cultural Institute in Guadalajara in Mexico. Why wasn´t an exhibition organized10 or 15 years ago? Well, it seems like in art you have to die before you “make it”!

Why Debora Arango?

So, why is the art of Debora Arango slowly gaining more recognition.Well, (and now here comes the sexist comment and truth) – part of this recognition by the press is directly attributable to the fact that she was a woman who was at the time (1940s) dealing with nudes as well as politics in her art. Both controversial topics for that period and more particularly for a woman to be “discussing” them.

Is this wrong? Is it wrong for the press to have given Debora Arango so much news-space due to the fact that she was a woman who happened to wish to touch on these subjects. Most definitely not, in my opinion, especially when you look at the history of the development of art and the arts in a country like Colombia.

Debora Arango was a ground breaker for women in the arts. She was the Frida Kahlo of Colombia. In any case, I am not sure that had a male artist touched on these themes that there would have been the same outcry but also I do not believe that a male artist could have represented the themes in the way that Debora did. As such – she was simply unique.

The Art of Debora Arango

Technically, I do not see that art created by Debora was at all exceptional. At least I have not seen anything in her work that would lead me to believe so. However, she did have a very well defined style, which is also important in art, that definitely help distinguish her work from other artists. And, she also had the ability to choose some exceptional themes to work with and it is that selection of themes that have allowed her work through a historical perspective to position the artist where she is today.

Few artists in the 1940´s, in Colombia at least, were presenting political and social criticism through their art to the extent that Deborah did. Not only did she comment upon the political and social situations, but also lead the way in presenting the plight of the ordinary woman in the Colombian society of that day.

Debora Arango: The Woman

I only ever met Debora Arango once, at her home in Medellín in November 2002. She would have been around 94 then. Accompanied by her younger sister we had a short talk and then she allowed me to view her beautiful home, still filled with her original artworks and ceramics, and her workshop which, as she admitted, hadn´t been in use for at least a couple of years since she had experienced difficulty with arthritis in her hand during those years.

We talked about the work she created during her “political” years, in the 1940s but she was most proud of a more recent work she had created of one of Colombia´s presidents, Belisario Betancourt, who had been very supportive of the arts and culture during his term in office.

Debora came across as a very serious if not somber person and this was largely reflected in her art . . . I do not remember seeing any work that could be described as frivolous and so I am sure she understood the power of the medium she used as a form of communication rather than as simple fine art.

Perhaps this is because of the time she spent on Mexico working alongside the like of Diego River, David Siquieros and other Mexican muralists. When she got back to Colombia however she only ever made one mural, in Medellín.

Prices

Given that Debora´s work is not really known at all internationally it comes as no surprise that there is no record (at least none that I have found) of her work being sold in auction or galleries. However, that said, given that her donation of work to the Museum of Antioquia was so large there are very few good pieces available on the market. As such the tendency of the prices for those artworks that are available and that are of reasonable quality and interest is to force up the prices. Having said that I do believe that it will take a while for the market to absorb this work locally given that the Colombian art market, though quite vibrant, is still very small.

For example a small (30cm x 40cm) watercolor work on paper will value between COP $12.000 – 25.000.000 (USD $6,000 – 12,000) in gallery. For that type of cash, if you are looking to invest, you can acquire a lot of works from artists that may better appreciate in the short to medium term. However, as always in art, if you want your Debora Arango artwork you will have to pay pretty much the price being asked.

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