Archive for the ‘Women In Art’ 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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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



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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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Ana Patricia Palacios is a well-known Colombian artist who is now launching her latest exhibition at the University of Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Bogota. It is a huge presentation of 55 artworks, including paintings, drawings, a video and an installation.

Ana Patricia Palacios "La Dulce e Irremediable Locura de la Fatalidad"

Ana Patricia Palacios

In this exhibition the artist pictorially relates her feelings about the murder of her brother 18 years ago through the use of symbolism alluding to the pain she still feels. She states: “This sample of work is my quota towards the situations of chance that have marked our land during the last decades, reliving it through the a personal story that is characterized by loss, lack of justice and its own repair”.

The artist`s exhibition runs through till the end of October 2008.


Museum of Visual Arts

U. Jorge Tadeo Lozano

Cr 4 No. 22-40

Tel: 242-7030 Ext: 1404

Open Monday – Friday 9AM – 8PM

Saturday 10AM – 2PM

Free Entrance

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Maria Teresa Hincapie

Maria Teresa Hincapie was a colombian performance artist/actress who died this year of breast cancer.

Considered a pioneer of this artform I consider myself lucky to have seen her at work at the Alonso Garces Gallery a few years ago. I am not particularly well-versed in performance art and perhaps as such I believe it to be more theatrical than art – however, it is always sad to see anyone from the arts depart so soon, so young.

ASAB Homage to MTH

Gone but not forgotten though. As we see there is a homage to the artist arranged to be shown until the 13th of June at the Faculty of Arts at the University Francisco Jose de Caldas. The homage includes photos and videos of her most representative works including “Performance como Vitrina” (Performance as a Window Display) and “Peregrinos” (Pilgrims).

MTH was a pioneer of performance art in Colombia and one of the most important exponents of this art form in Latin America. As a teacher at the University Francisco Jose de Caldas the artists/actress`students now continue her tradition of using their bodies as a medium of expression.

The show can be seen at the ASAB (Academia Superior de Artes de Bogota) exhibition hall.

ASAB, Cr 13  14-69, Bogota

Details can be obtained by calling: (+571) 282-1645

Homenaje Maria Teresa Hincapie

Additional Exhibition Data

There is an exhibition of drawings entitled “Caligrafía Corporal” (Body Calligraphy) by MTH starting Nov. 10 2008. It is being shown at the gallery La Localidad, Calle 118 #5-33 in Bogotá. Tel: 620-6246

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Colombian Artist Beatriz Gonzalez If you are a fan of Beatriz Gonzalez`artwork then you must buy El Tiempo today. On the second page of the cultural section you can get a copy of her most recent work called “Ondas de Rancho Grande”. This work was inspired by a photo taken of Yolanda Izquierdo, a community leader in Colombia who was murdered.

The copy is a simple work – almost of remembrance – done in outline, and the artist would like people to take their copy and intervene in what she has created. You can then take/send your copy to the Alonso Garces Gallery until 7th June and leave it there for Beatriz Gonzalez to personally sign it. So getting a signed copy of a Beatriz Gonzalez artwork for free is as good as it gets! 🙂

“Ondas de Rancho Grande” is the work that Beatriz is presenting this year to the National Salon which presents art from artists from all over Colombia. The following page has a partial image of the artwork, colored by Gonzalez. “Ondas de Rancho Grande

Details of the National Salon and Gonzalez proposal for this project can be found here (in Spanish).


Alonso Garces Gallery

Cr 5 No. 26-92


Tel: 337-5832

The addresses of other Colombian Galleries can be obtained by clicking the link.

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