Posts Tagged ‘Bogota’

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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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.


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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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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Carlos Lersundy is a publicist. Now if you have read some of my posts you will know I am not a fan of designer “artists” such as Damien Hirst, architect “artists”, illustrator “artists”, thought/political “artists” like Doris Salcedo, etc, etc etc. As such I doubt very much if I would like the “art” by a publicist such as Carlos Lersundy. (Art, for me, must relate to an expression of the soul, not simply the mind). However, in todays El Tiempo newspaper, there is an explanation of some art workshops that Carlos Lersundy is giving in Bogota right now at the Quinta Galeria, and I would like to comment on it and the philosophy behind it.

According to the newspaper, Lersundy believes that the present system of education focuses too much on training the left side of the brain to work through logic and to process information. On this point I do agree. As such his workshops are designed to stimulate and develop the right side of the brain – not so much that the person who attends will overnight become an artist but to stimulate creativity, intuition, perceive patterns and tendencies within the same context. i.e. to appreciate the bigger picture, so to speak. And on this point I do have to give credit to the “artist”.

What he is saying is a truism – learning to work with both hemispheres will improve your appreciation of life and art and I believe bring a greater sensibility and quality to your being. So, if you are in Bogota and would like to improve that side of you that should express itself more often, check out the workshop and see how you will change. I am sure you will feel improved as a person – and who know, you might even end up becoming a real artist – with a soul to express!

Tel: 8608284 / 3127368

email: crlslersundy@yahoo.com

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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)

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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Even though most of what I present here in this blog is contemporary I will occasionally write about whatever takes my fancy. And one of those things is a piece of artwork that is on permanent public display at the Medical Centre “Almirante Colon” on the Calle 85 with 16th street in Bogota.

“Colon Descubre El Nuevo Mundo” is the title of the grand artwork created by Luis Alberto Acuña in 1959 that is displayed there. It is a 4.6 x 7.0 metre fresco and is absolutely fabulous plus pretty monumental – on par with whatever Rivera did in Mexico in my opinion with the muralist movement.

Acuña is one of the artists who I would say started Colombia on its modern interest in art. Though coming just before Obregón historically his work has never been quoted to the prices that modern day art can reach – but he has a very defined and clear place in Colombian art in the twentieth century.

Here are a few photos of the artwork, I hope if you ever come to Bogota you will take a few minutes to visit it (it is not far from the Zona T or Parque 93).

Colon Descubre El Nuevo Mundo

Closeup - Colon Descubre El Nuevo Mundo
I will not comment on trying to interpret this artwork or the close-up: I will leave that to you. Do your own study !!!!

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A kind of strange title right . . . but I shall explain.

As most people familiar with art will know, the Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh left Paris where he had been studying art and working as an artist to go and live in the south of France. One of the reasons he left Paris was because he found it difficult to get the appropriate interests in his artwork there. Plus, in the Parisian art scene there were many rumours, intrigues and rivalries.

Perhaps Van Gogh had too many idealistic visions and thoughts about the artworld – I mean it is – if you want to sell – the same dog-eat-dog world that most commercial business will experience. So unable to take the strain of working and competing and working within a community of artists that didn´t collaborate instead of compete he moved out and found fame elsewhere!

So, now to Bogota!

I have thought now for several years that Bogota is in a similar position to the Paris of that time – a hundred years ago. I do not know why but there is an abundance of artists in Bogota – perhaps too many. On the upside I think this has helped create a greater interest from the general public in art but obviously – had it not been for the credit expansion of the last few years then every artist would be chasing a limited money supply and I believe there would have been (and probably will be at some point in the future now that the Bank of the Republic – Colombia´s Central Bank has started to increase its interest rates) much greater infighting and jealousies within the art community here than have so far been present. And believe me they do exist but I would not want to be a gossip here 🙂

One of the benefits of leaving a large art community is that there is less competition. One artist friend, Bernardo Ríos left for his native Risaralda a couple of years ago. Though he left for personal reasons – one of which being that he could not stand the noise anymore! – he has since then had a number of exhibitions in Pereira, a great number of TV and Press interviews and much more interest shown in his art than when he lived in Bogota and that has made him happy.

Now of course since Pereira is much smaller than Bogota its commerce in and of the arts is much less. However, most artists would probably be happy to live on bread and water were it necessary just to get some “love” for the work they produce.

A small number of other artists I know have a small studio or apartment in Villa de Leiva – which is a sort of bohemian colonial town situated about three hours nort-east of Bogota in the department of Boyaca. There they can at the very least occasionally escape the pressure of city life in Bogota though there is no large art-buying public in the are, though the fact that it is very touristy should occasionally help sales.

So my advice to many of the artists that are in Bogota fighting it out – take a leaf out of Van Goghs book and think about presenting your art elsewhere . . . it could well bring positive results!

PS: Bernado will possibly be exhibiting in Bogota within the next few months – I will keep you posted.

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