This exhibition presents a thought-provoking idea that goes beyond boundaries and challenges conventional perspectives. It brings together visionary artists from Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, and Chile who delve into the conceptual depths of Latin American artistry. Through profound narratives, symbolism, and conceptual exploration, this exhibition showcases a rich tapestry of cultural heritage and personal experiences.
The featured artists in this exhibition offer diverse perspectives that defy traditional categorizations and invite viewers to reconsider preconceived notions. The artworks on display ignite dialogue, expanding our understanding of Latin American art and challenging preconceptions about «Latin» as a social and historical category.
«Latin American Art is not just a written sentence» serves as a pathway rather than a manifesto, humbly shedding light on a process that has been shaping many geographies for a long time. Latin identity represents resistance as a way of life, a unique perspective, and a relationship with the world and others.
This curatorial exploration transcends borders, offering an alternative lens through which to view an intriguing compilation of speeches and expressions.
«Latin American Art is not Just a Written Sentence» encapsulates profound questions, bold political proposals, new definitions, and the power of creative thinking in Latin American art.
Alejandro Obregón was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1920. When he turned 16, he and his family moved to Barranquilla, Colombia. His father is Colombian, so he has always been deeply linked to the Colombian Caribbean.
He worked alongside his father in their textile factory as a production supervisor, but it wasn’t long before he realized it wasn’t what he wanted, and he started working as a truck driver in Catatumbo. That’s where he discovered he wanted to be a painter.
His painting is characterized by a thick and free brushstroke, strong and vibrant colors, and vigorous strokes. He found his style in magical expressionism. Since then, his name was always at the top and his works were exhibited with great commercial success. In his canvases, creative fantasy and emotive elements predominated. Alejandro Obregón recreated the environment, harmoniously transfigured the landscape, altered the human figure and used color to present his emotions.
In May 1949 he traveled to Paris until 1954. He dedicated himself to defining and qualifying his style. A very important event happened there, he met Picasso. He began to gain fame in Europe, holding exhibitions in Germany, Montelimar and Paris. He was also in North America, where he exhibited at the Pan-American Union in Washington, thus definitively positioning himself as one of the great contemporary artists.
Upon his return to Colombia, Alejandro Obregón led the national visual arts movement. He began a painting of symbolist tendency represented by animals such as the bull, symbol of strength, the fish, symbolic in the religious world, flowers, symbolizing tenderness, elements of everyday life and American products such as tobacco or corn.
During 1958 and 1965, Alejandro Obregón was the most influential painter in the country, mixing the new and the modern. He was awarded first prize in Painting at the National Salon, with the oil paintings Violencia and Icaro y las avispas.
He died on April 11, 1992 from a brain tumor that in his last years affected his eyesight.
David Manzur is a Colombian artist of Lebanese descent. He studied at the Escuela de Arte Claret in Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Bogotá, and the Art Students League and the Pratt Institute, both in New York. He won two Guggenheim Fellowships (1961, 1962); exhibited at the Obelisk Gallery in Washington, D.C. (1962) and the Royal Athena Galleries in New York (1962); won first prize at the First Salón de Artistas Jóvenes de Bogotá (1964); and earned a fellowship from the Organization of American States (1964). Meanwhile, his subjects moved from flowers to marine abysses to sidereal spaces. He also worked on more experimental projects, but at the beginning of the 1970s, there was a profound return to order, leading him to rediscover a realistic drawing style that was in constant dialogue with tradition. From then, a plethora of subjects wove together refinement, estrangement, erotic ecstasy, and a voluptuous view of death.
Elements for an Angel No. 8 was part of the exhibition that David Manzur held in February and March 1961 at the Pan American Union in Washington, D.C. In a review published in 1962 on the occasion of the artist’s solo show at the Obelisk Gallery, in which he exhibited the same works as the previous year, critic Leslie Judd Ahlander remarked: “The dark depths are illuminated by torrential showers of light.” Another common feature in the work of the artist is the oneiric atmosphere that prevails in this painting and which is constantly present in his figurative works.
Paulo Nazareth old man born in the city of Borun Nak [ Vale do Rio Doce] Minas Gerais / Pindorama [BR]) is one of Brazil’s most compelling emerging artists. He lives in Belo Horizonte and works throughout the world. Nazareth has had solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Museu de Arte de São Paulo; and Tanzhaus NRW, Dusseldorf. He has participated in group exhibitions at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Musée d’art Contemporain de Lyon; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin; and the New Museum, New York. He has participated in numerous important international exhibitions, including Prospect New Orleans, the Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art, and the Venice Biennale.
Paulo works across mediums, using performance and sculpture—monumental and ephemeral—to critique the colonial experience in Brazil and the Americas. The paint handling has a naive style that belies the violence of the imagery, and the artist has said that the arrows represent a shot of hope against repression. Nazareth’s return to Art Basel in Miami Beach this year follows two major institutional shows at Pivo in São Paulo and at The Power Plant in Toronto. The Pivo retrospective, ‘Vuadora’, which included an impressive 180 works, was introduced by Products of Genocide (2017–), in which a series of well-known goods, with branding that appropriates some aspect of indigenous culture – packets of flour featuring dark-skinned people picking corn; a bag of mate powder with a similar image of exploited workers – are encased in resin blocks. The gesture could be read negatively or proactively: that they represent the death and destruction of Amerindian culture, or that Nazareth himself was entombing such imagery to history. For ‘Stroke’ at The Power Plant, Nazareth installed a small swimming pool surrounded by a series of manipulated documentary photographs from 1964, collectively titled White Ethnography (2022), retelling an incident in which Black anti-segregationist protesters jumped into a pool at a hotel in Florida, and the owner responded by pouring muriatic acid into the water.
Manuela Viera-Gallo is a Chilean artist and mother who has been living and practicing in New York for more than 15 years. Born during her parents’ political exile in Rome, Italy, her point of view has been strongly shaped by the social and political violence that has affected the history of most Latin American countries and by a constant state of migration. Her artistic practice presents a multidisciplinary body of work that departs from absurdity to manipulate and distort known symbols and imagery into an allegorical, fantastical and darkly comical framework.
Through art she tries to reconcile our collective capacity for creating both ecstasy and suffering, and the fraught sexual and psychological forces which are hidden just beneath the surface of reality.
She received her MFA at Universidad Catolica in Chile, and in 2022 presented a solo retrospective at Santiago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. She has shown work internationally in a number of solo and group exhibitions, including: Untitled Art Fair, Miami (2022); Core Club, NYC (2021); Aninat Gallery, Chile (2019); Public Sector Art Basel, Miami (2017); Volta Art Fair (2016); Y Gallery, NYC (2015); SP-ART FAIR, Brazil (2014).
Joaquin Flores is a mexican painter and printmaker, his work has been exhibited in cultural platforms such as the 2nd Biennial of Painting Gomez Palacio Durango, the National Encounter of Young Art, Affordable Art Fair 2013, Pedro Coronel Biennial, Alfredo Zalce Biennial 2019, and José Atanasio Monroy 2020. He received the Young Creators grant from FONCA in 2014 and 2021, the Julio Castillo National Painting Award in 2014, and the third place in the 5th Pedro Coronel Biennial in Zacatecas. His work is part of collections such as Milenio, Arte Lumen, Kaluz Museum, Institute of Culture and Arts of Queretaro, Zacatecan Institute of Culture and Arts, as well as various private collections. His work was published in the book «Joaquin Flores: La materia del paisaje, imágenes de la periferia urbana» edited by Aldama Fine Art.
He has found a specific iconography that portrays our current relationship with nature and reflects our culture as a culture of waste, where consumer objects and rapidly changing trends become garbage on the outskirts of the city and along the roads. Each object has its own aesthetics and bears witness to its time. Building on this idea, the debris that ends up on the outskirts of the city becomes a kind of contemporary history, testifying to the thoughts of the people who created and discarded them.
From these environments, Joaquin Flores selects elements that catch his attention, such as toys, graffiti, or objects that, due to their colorful nature, contrast with the absolute grayness of concrete. Symbolically, they disrupt the meaning of the scenes he portrays. The artist is not seeking to paint an apology for poverty but rather aims to find more unusual and poetic visions of the city’s periphery.
Through his work, he seeks to reflect on the relationship between individuals and their environment—a landscape eroded by constant change and neglect, inhabited by deteriorated bodies and psychologically altered characters. Stray dogs, people wandering along dirt roads, reptiles and insects blending with discarded toys in vacant lots—these become small guardians of the remnants of civilization. With the intention of approaching the ruins that surround cities and often go unnoticed, this series offers a vision of the passage of time, leaving irreversible consequences in its wake.
José Luis Ramírez is a visual artist originally from the city of Durango. He graduated from the School of Painting, Sculpture, and Crafts at the Juárez University of the State of Durango (EPEA-UJED). He has an influential career of over 20 years as an internationally recognized visual artist. Through his artworks, he explores the dialogue between techniques ranging from hyperrealism to figurative, sometimes even reaching a caricature-like tone. Ramírez enjoys using the instant memory of a recent past as a recurring visual resource in his works, as well as incorporating elements of the immediate present with accents of mockery in his discourse. This is done in order to create a poetic hostility in his pieces, resulting in visual compositions that evoke various contemporary fragments of Mexican society, culture, and politics. He aims to infuse his work with a dissonant reality, thus generating a constant process of deconstruction in his pieces.
José Luis Ramírez has participated in over 70 group exhibitions, as well as painting competitions, biennials, and international fairs. Some of these include Art Wynwood 2023, CONTEXT Art Miami 2022, XIII Florence Biennale 2021, Shanghai International Art Fair 2020, ILUMINARTE, Arte Vivo, and the 13th International Cairo Biennale 2019, among others. Currently, he has had 15 solo exhibitions, with the most recent ones being held at the Metropolitan Museum of Monterrey, KUNA Gallery in San Miguel de Allende, and Ars Avanti in Leipzig, Germany.
He received the «Collectors Vision International Art Award» from Contemporary Art Curator Magazine, and has been mentioned in various art magazines and books in different countries, including Ambientes Magazine in its 20-year edition, Shoutout Miami, Artventurous Art & Design Magazine, and Artnews Magazine in its special edition «Top 200 Collectors.» He has also been featured in national magazines such as Forbes Mexico in its «The 100 Most Creative Mexicans in the World» edition.
Jesús Moreno-Granados is a sculptor and sound artist, as well as a teacher and researcher in arts. Born in Caracas in 1981, he currently lives and works between the Balearic Islands in Spain and Bogotá, Colombia. Moreno-Granados has a Master’s degree in Art Education and a Postgraduate degree in Sound Art from the University of Barcelona’s Faculty of Fine Arts (2013).
He has participated in numerous collective exhibitions, including «Puentes sonoros» at the 19th Festival of Image and Sound, Colombia (2020), «Zeppelin 2017: Sonidos Concretos» at the Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona in Spain (2017), and the Eugenio Mendoza Prize #12+1 at the Mendoza Room of the Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas (2015). His works are represented in collections such as the Latin American Studies House «Rómulo Gallegos» (CELARG), the private collection of the Apostolatos Family, the mail art archive of Keyla Holmquist in Valencia, and private collections in Spain, Iran, and Kiev.
Moreno-Granados has received recognitions for his work, including the AICA Emerging Artist Award from the International Association of Art Critics (2013), and honors and mentions in various literary contests.
With his artistic practice encompassing sculpture and sound art, Jesús Moreno-Granados explores the intersection of these mediums and engages in teaching and research to further enrich the field of arts. His works reflect his creative vision and multidisciplinary approach, inviting viewers to experience unique sensory and conceptual journeys.
Válido is a Cuban abstract expressionist painter. Growing up in a Cuban American home, the Cuban culture has played a major role in his art work as his paintings take us through the Cuban political and economical struggle, Cuban music and street culture, to its unique spiritual belief system that combines Catholicism and the practice of Santeria.
The artist graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Creative Writing and has served as an educator. Válido was recently selected to exhibit his works at the 2023 Luxembourg Arts Fair. Válido has also been selected by Monat Gallery in Madrid Spain, to exhibit his paintings in a group exhibition in August 2023. Excited about his works being displayed in Europe, he states “I have three of my paintings that will be exhibited in Europe this fall. “Manteca», “Bebo” and “Sucker Free”.
“Manteca” and “Bebo” are from my “Descarga” series that honor Afro-Cuban jazz musicians. Descarga is a series where he wanted to show how these legendary musicians, who believed in the Cuban Santeria religion, spirits gave them a different physical appearance when pioneering what is known today as AfroCuban Jazz. While “Sucker Free” shows how todays scams and conspiracy rabbit holes are constantly tempting us to stray from our spiritual path.”
Valido is currently working on two projects that also dives deeper into his Caribbean roots. “Defacement” and “Arroz Con Mango” series. These series, dealing with current issues on the island and in the exile Cuban community, are expected to be completed by September of 2023.
Lina Montoya is a prolific visual artist. Graphic designer, muralist, and teaching artist, born and raised in Medellín, Colombia, based in NYC since 2010. Montoya embeds her cultural heritage in her art. She is a bilingual speaker who connects deeply with Latinx and immigrant communities in NYC. Lina’s experience as a teaching artist can be focused on arts creation and education. Over the past decade Montoya has developed more than 70 community-based visual art programs, including artistic residencies at NYC public and charter schools, private commissions and public art projects with city agencies, other artists and community-based organizations.
Founder of the Ele Eme Project, an artistic initiative developed between the US and Latin America to exchange “Magical Experiences” through socially engaged art for public space beautification, transformation and social impact. Co-Founder of “La Isla Bonita Festival”, a cultural event established in 2015 which would celebrate Staten Island’s diverse and vibrant community, promoting accessible, family-friendly local and global arts, culture and civic engagement.
Montoya has been supported, worked in partnership and recognized by the NYC Department of Transportation, Staten Island Council of the Arts, NYC Parks Department, Wagner College, Port Richmond Partnership, City Parks Foundation, UNIQLO Arts Expressions Grant, Long Island City Partnership, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, NYU Dream Team, Staten Island Justice Center, Richmond County Savings Foundation, Yonkers Arts Weekend, Pictopia Medellín, Alcaldía de Medellín, El Centro del Inmigrante, Police Athletic League, NYC Murals Arts Project, New York Foundation for the Arts NYFA, Staten Island Museum, NYU Wallerstein Collaborative, ABNY, National Day Laborers Organization NDLON, Universal Temple of the Arts, Groundswell Community Mural Project, Sundog Theater, Staten Island Shakespearean Theater Company, St, Ann’s Warehouse and the Colombian Consulate in New York City.
Moisés Londoño Bernal (1991) is a Colombian artist and researcher based in Bogota. His work focuses on exploring drawing as an everyday and expanded medium through the creation of images, installations, and performative practices. He has held solo and group exhibitions in Montevideo, Uruguay, Tokyo, Japan, as well as various cities in Colombia, including Medellín, Bogotá, and Popayán. Notably, he participated in ARTBO 2022 at the Artecamara Pavilion, exhibited at the MAV (Museum of Visual Arts of Jorge Tadeo Lozano University), the exhibition hall of Universidad Javeriana, and had a solo exhibition at the University of the Republic in Uruguay with the project «Proximidad» (Proximity). Additionally, he has been a recipient of grants and scholarships from the Ministry of Culture of Colombia and Idartes for artistic residencies and creative processes, such as drawing workshops with his collective, «Ensayos de dibujo» (Drawing Essays).
Currently, his research explores the forms and intentions of the act of drawing through three terms: Tracing, Structuring, and Scribbling. Through these terms, he reflects on the practice and teaching of drawing in different areas of knowledge through actions and work with diverse populations. He works as a professor in the drawing department of the Visual Arts program at UNAD (National Open and Distance University), the Research Line in Art, Communication, and Culture of the Community Education degree at the National Pedagogical University, and the Art and Pedagogy Workshop of the Master’s program in Art Education at the National University of Colombia.
Colombian artist and researcher, Master in Aesthetics and Creation from the Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Colombia and a degree in visual arts with an emphasis in painting from the same institution, since 2014 he has participated in various creation research projects in contemporary art. He has also been part of numerous collective and individual exhibitions in Colombia, United States and Cuba. Of the individual ones, “Autorreferencias” stand out in the French Alliance of Pereira and of the collective ones, Inspire International collective exhibition Ampersand Studios Miami and International Salon «SOLO PINTURA IV», Art Museum of Caldas Manizales.
His interests have to do with painting and drawing as a possibility of translation and configuration of the world, where a mode of exploration appears, latencies such as the city and its architectures, interior drive drawings and built natures. During the year 2020 he directed the APTO project, a creative transit space / artistic residence, located in the city of Pereira, Colombia. Since 2021 he resides in New York City from where he develops his creative work.
In the same way, he has had the opportunity to win scholarships and prizes, among which the Visual Arts Scholarship “Cultura en casa” 2020 stands out, with the «APTO Collective, space for creative transit.» Secretary of Culture of Pereira, Colombia 2020; the Curatorial Research-Creation Scholarship, Traslude Salon of Contemporary Art. With the Collective «Algo se deja entrever», Secretary of Culture of Pereira, Colombia 2019 and Research Scholarship Master’s Degree in Aesthetics and Creation, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Colombia 2016.
Catalina Hoyos is a Colombian visual artist and museologist, from her early years as a student, she has been immersed in the world of museums, allowing her to establish profound connections between art, memory and science.
With a deep interest in various creative methodologies, Catalina explores the incorporation of silence, contemplation, workshop dynamics, and collaborative processes in her artistic practice. She perceives art as a space of interconnectedness and experiential engagement, weaving together diverse interests such as pedagogies and museums to shape her artistic endeavors. Her creative expressions span a range of formats, including drawing, installation, video, recordings, and exhibition design.
In her printmaking and drawing artworks, Catalina delves into the human experience of nature, considering both biological and cultural interpretations. Guided by the perpetual quest for meaning in life, she seeks connections within the visual realm, crafting images that organically interrelate the diverse kingdoms of nature.
Throughout her career, Catalina has curated individual and group exhibitions in Colombia and France, showcasing her distinctive artistic vision. Moreover, she actively engages in co-creation processes within various museums and cultural institutions, fostering collaborative approaches to artistic exploration.
Kike Barona is a colombian photographer and artist. He has contributed with his expertise and artistic sensibilities to countless symphonic performances. His unwavering commitment to the orchestra has allowed him to witness the harmonious fusion of melodies and the transcendental power of orchestral arrangements.
Beyond the classical realm, Kike Barona is an avid enthusiast of various genres, including rock, punk, jazz, and alternative music. His eclectic taste and unwavering curiosity have led him to explore the vibrant underground music scene, immersing himself in the raw energy and rebellious spirit of these genres.
In addition to his involvement with the Bogota’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Kike Barona has made significant contributions to the local music landscape through his work with a prominent Bogotá-based TV channel. Collaborating in the recording of over 100 live concerts featuring Colombian bands, european musicians and he has captured the essence and intensity of their performances, showcasing the diversity and talent that enriches the Colombian music scene. As a creative and imaginative individual, his dedication and hard work have solidified his position as a respected figure within the music industry.
Kike Barona’s work is recognized as musical documentary photography, he shows through his lens a conceptual gaze that explores and approaches the hidden world of the instruments from a technique based on reflection, thus creating abstractions that string the romantic sense of the violin with its history. This aesthetic construction that is gestated from the music is the translation of an artistic language to the other (music & photography), and makes its climax a game of lights and shadows.
Aronia Ortiz is a Colombian visual artist, specializing in photography and media arts. Through her images, Aronia explores the boundaries between reality and fiction. She creates authorial photography, enhancing the perception of places or people by incorporating documentary elements that contrast with the cinematic lighting and unique narratives, evoking a sense of reverie through color.
In 2021, she won the National Award – Sony World Photography Awards, and her photograph was nominated in the professional landscape competition at a global level. Aronia, co-directing the «Claroscuro Colombia» project, has received distinctions from the Ministry of Culture’s stimulus program, the «Beca es cultura local IDARTES,» the «Beca Red Galería Santa Fé,» and was a fellow of the Diploma in Photo Narratives and New Media from the Pedro Meyer Foundation in Mexico.