A couple of weeks ago we went along to Quaglino’s in St. James’ for what was probably one of the shortest art exhibitions we have ever been to. For one evening only we were able to view the works of three Guatemalan artists, each bringing a unique vision of their culture, environment and personal history. I love the magical realism in Latin American art and literature, so I was glad we could on the night.
Brought together by independent curator Irene Due, it featured Irene Carlos’s vibrant works full of feminine symbolism, a selection of abstract paintings by Valenz, and works by Lucía Morán Giracca whose work can best be characterized by the strong influence of Latin American surrealism.
“My work is intuitive, spontaneously responds to colour, form, light and contact with living beings. It is inspired by direct experience with my surroundings. I have a strong connection to symbols, especially those shapes and forms derived from feminine energy and use them as part of my creative language. I have travelled extensively worldwide and each environment or new place has led me to further investigations, expanding the themes and media within my work. As a result, I have diversified my practice from textiles to sculpture, painting, mixed media and photography. Through photography , my awareness expands, as my visual perception captures gestures , light or nature. The intimacy of portrait deepens my comprehension of humankind.” – Irene Carlos
“I’ve painted ever since I can remember. I cannot describe myself without art. My painting is a continuous search for what is essential, for my true self. In that search, everything that I’ve lived is blended together: relationships, politics, landscapes, my gender, my country… anything. I firmly believe that in the particular lies the entire universe.” Lucía Morán Giracca
“By using elements such as chairs, ladders, beds, monocycles, trapeze artists, swings, machines is a way of telling stories about life. The chairs signify, according to the context, opportunities and the patience required for them to step into our lives. The ladders represent our desire to climb, to continue our personal growth. Beds represent periods when we sleep and dream, things we cannot share with anyone else. Playful characters are representative of the uniqueness and singularity of each of the moments that we experience throughout our lifetimes, and the game that life is. Painting is my life.” – Sergio Valenzuela also known as Valenz
Another exhibition of South American art is planned for later in the year. We’ll keep you posted.
Irene Due is and independent curator of Mexican and Danish heritage, now based in London. She has provided curatorial leadership for a pavilion at the Venice Biennale, as well as numerous international museums, galleries and cultural organisations.
She also co-founded TRIAD: Towards Regional Integration of Artistic Development, a cultural organisation promoting emerging artists, while simultaneously establishing Latinaria, a London platform for promoting Latin-American artists.