Posts Tagged ‘luis luna’

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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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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Luis Luna Matiz - Colombian Artist

The Artist

Luis Luna was born in Bogota in 1958.

Although first studying to become a doctor at the Javeriana University in Bogota in 1976 – and as is often the case in situations related to the arts – Luis Luna soon realized that he would have to follow, develop and master what was his real passion – Art.

So, during the 80´s he studied the Fine Arts at the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University, one of Colombia´s best universities for the arts, and then continued his studies at Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin. Not satisfied with this this great Colombian painter topped off his knowledge with an MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Now, after that brief introduction, I could go on an on talking about all the grants and awards and extensive international exhibitions that Luna has completed but I will save you some time and just refer you to his website where all that stuff is written. You can find it here and you can come back to it later: Luis Luna.

So why did I bother to mention all the time spent he studying? Well once you get to know Luis you will perceive and understand that he is of tremendous intellect and that presents itself and is intrinsically part of his work. So in many ways, if you want to understand what this artist creates, I would suggest that it is necessary to understand him.

The Art

Luna has had several distinct and identifiable periods amongst the body of work he has built over the last two decades. So it would be facile to say that he bases much of his art on the integration of words into his paintings. However, over the most recent years this is often the starting point for many of his works. But these words placed in his paintings – sometimes upside down or at varying angles – are not to be interpreted directly but serve as a visual aid or symbol in understanding the piece of art as a whole. He has also at times included materials to form collages or included metals and enamels to represent his ideas.

But in his own words he says:

I am not an illustrator of ideas, that is what happens with many conceptual artists. I, basically, am a painter and as such I feed off of many things, from collage to literature. That is why my paintings become phrases. Nevertheless, my point of departure is that the painting has to be born from unconscious impulse.”

El Tiempo, 11 July 2007

Divina Libertad

One of the most recent paintings that I personally admire is called “Divina Libertad”. Now this work was just recently shown this year at his exhibition at the Casas Riegner Gallery in Bogota. Now this work was previously shown at the Museum of Modern Art in Bogota (MAMBO) in 2006, but the artist continued to work on it during 2007 prior to re-exhibiting it at Casas Riegner. However, I have inside knowledge that this work was originally started in 2003 or possibly as early as 2002 – and although it is a large work (3m x 4m) it would not have required the artist 4 years of his life to create – but perhaps the four years were necessary for the thought process to mature and become that art that he wishes to present to the world. It is a work that is based on two words: Divina Libertad (Beautiful Freedom).

A theme perhaps that would definitely require a large canvas as he has given it and based it on three important colors: red, black and gold. Were this colors deliberately chosen? Why don´t you ask the artist. Me? I believe they represent the blood and death that many south american countries experienced in the centuries old fight over the continents riches and even today that fight continues within Colombia for a freedom that is has yet to be completed. Perhaps a divine intervention is required?

Divina Libertad

Divina Libertad

(Oil / Canvas 300cm x 400cm – 2007)



The next work I have chosen to show here is perhaps more complex in its presentation and one which I would rather you view and leave your comments on.



(Oil / Canvas 120cm x 80cm – 2007)


Homenaje A Torres – García

This this example leaves little room for explanation as the title says it all. However, though Torres Garcia was a geometric artist the pulse of Luis Luna is written all over this work and makes it a beautiful tribute not only to the artist but to decades of knowledge built up in the arts in Latin America.


Homenaje a Torres Garcia

Homenaje a Torres-García

(Mixed Media / Metal 100cm x 100cm – 2007)


To stay informed on the artist´s life and work,

and his exhibition in Zurich, November 2007,

click here to subscribe to his Newsletter

and if you live in Zurich you will be invited to

have a glass of wine with this recognised artist

and to get his autograph!




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I thought I would take a few minutes to announce that an artist friend of mine, Luis Luna Matiz, one of Colombia´s top artists will be presenting an exhibition of his latest work at the Perez Rojas Gallery in Zurich, Switzerland (details below).

The exhibition starts on the 21st of November and will run through to 15th December 2007. The actual cocktail opening night is on the 17th of November. So if you are in Zurich on that date and like art please make an effort to support Luis, the gallery and the arts and go and see the exhibition of one of Colombia´s finest and most accomplished artists.

Luis as ever has been very busy over the last few weeks finishing off some of his new works and organizing their shipment from Bogota to Europe. Although his work is often cited as abstract it is much more complex in that Luna´s interest in art particularly tries to reflect cross-cultural relations. Indeed if you view his CV it shows that apart from his art studies in Colombia, he also studied at the Hochschule der Kunste, Berlin for five years and consequently also speaks excellent German.

I will see if I can give you a more complete profile of this artist in the next few days to complement this information.

Exhibition Details:

Perez Rojas Gallery
Neustadtgasse 2,
8001 Zürich
Tel: +41 43 377 52 52
Fax: +41 43 377 52 52


Mo-Fr 14-18 ·· Sa 13-16

How To Get There:

Tram 3/5/8/9 & Bus 31 bis Kunsthaus / Pfauen
Map (the green arrow shows where the gallery is located)

Gallery Perez Rojas - Zurich Map

Follow this post to get more info on the artist Luis Luna.

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