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I had hoped to have written before now on this exhibition of these two artists that is being held at one of Colombia´s best galleries: La Cometa. Fortunately the exhibition will continue till 9th December 2008! So if you are in Bogota I would recommend you take a an hour or so to get along to see it.

These artists have been married now for over 50 and have very different styles of work and this is the first time in 25 years that they have exhibited together in Colombia.

Jim´s exhibition is called “Meridianos” and his sculpture in bronze deals with concepts relating to sexuality and erotisicm. Meanwhile Olga´s exhibition called “Strata” presents work based on precolumbian fabrics and designs.

The works presented are part of their personal collections from various decades. As the artists say, it is “almost as if they were letting people into their home”.

Jim Amaral: Sculptor
Jim Amaral was born in the USA in California and came to Colombia over four decades ago, making Bogota his home. His works have been strongly acclaimed and indeed adorn the plazas and entrances to several of Bogota´s most important skyscrapers.

Further information on Jim Amaral can be found here.

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Olga de Amaral: Textiles Artist

Surely one of the main reasons that keeps Jim in Colombia is his Colombian wife, Olga! A very well respected artist in her own right she is renowned for her pioneering work in taking pre-colombian textile designs and reforming them within her artworks. Her most recent works have included integrating textile pieces with gold leaf.

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Botero Going to Jail?

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?

One of Colombia´s top artists hasn´t been seen around here for a while!

What has happened to him? Where has he gone?

Well, you will be pleased to know that nothing bad has happened to Carlos Jacanamijoy, it is simply that he moved to New York to work exclusively with the Leon Tovar Gallery. His work is still popular in Colombia, but obviously as his prices have risen then so he has had to find new markets and the Leon Tovar Gallery has taken the artist under its wing.

Carlos Jacanamijoy - Colombian Artist in New York

Carlos Jacanamijoy: The Man – The Myth

Carlos Jacanamijoy, or “Jaca” as he is commonly known, is an indigenous Inga indian from the Putomayo region of Colombia. Son of a shaman father and tribal chief, Jaca knew from an early age that his life would not be fully traditional.

Not content to stay in his village and knowing since he was 13 that he wanted to study art, Jaca as a young man left his village to explore the wider world that was Colombia. By his early twenties he had already experienced the local capital cities of Cali and the national capital of Bogota. It was there in Bogota that he was attracted to one of the more important art schools in Colombia – the Universidad Nacional or National University.

Within a few short years of graduating his work was quickly picked up for its indigenous character and uniqueness and soon the artist was catapulted to fame within his native land. In just a few short years quite a number of books were produced showing his latest works. But as we well know today, where there is boom there is bust and as his work became more pricier there were automatically fewer buyers in Colombia.

That is why Carlos finds himself treading the streets of Manhattan: looking to present his artwork to a different and perhaps more artistically advanced society: New York. And surely he will succeed as nothing succeeds like success.

1997 (Sold)

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!

One of Colombia´s best young abstract artists has been presenting an exhibition of his latest work in Cartagena. His work is being shown at the “Centro de Formación de la Cooperación Española y la Embajada de España (Claustro de Santo Domingo)” in the old walled city.

Fourteen large works in oil are being presented.

According to Colombian art critic Germán Rubio: “One only needs to attentively observe Walbert´s paintings to appreciate that in them there is careful elaboration, nothing or almost nothing is completely impulsive, everything is under control; balance, contrast and exchanges are searched for.

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.

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