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Khipuz: The Best of 2015

 

The Face behind Selvamonos: Selvamonos Oxapampa 2015

We met in an unassuming French Restaurant, located in of all places a School , Alianza Francesa de Miraflores (Av. Arequipa). At first I thought it a odd location because I did not know much about my subject. I felt like a reporter in a dime spy novel and wondered why this strange man had asked to meet me in such an obscure location. As often happens I was surprised by the Restaurant, the quality of the food and menu and even more so by my subject.

Lionel Igersheim, did not step out of the shadows dressed in a dark suit, with a smoking cigarette danging from his lips. He met me with a bright smile and handshake in the bright sunlit portico of the School and we entered the restaurant together. I had many questions for this casually dressed young man who displayed a lively vibrant attitude you might expect from someone in his line of business. If I had met him ten years earlier when he made his first trip to Peru, I wonder would I have encountered the same person?

Lionel had arrived in Peru from France almost 10 years ago now as an exchange student. Like many who visit this country he had many preconceived ideas about the place and the people. His intention was to study Spanish and develop an understanding of mythical Peru.

“My first days were full of discoveries and learning, starting the language, culture, history… I was impatient to understand this society that looked different from what I knew before. It was actually my first non-touristic trip and this made a lot of difference to me.”, He told me. The pleasant nature of Peruvians and the innately friendly attitude they so often express when encountering foreigners gave Lionel the incentive he needed to decide to make Peru his home.

Our conversation flowed and I was so at ease chatting with Lionel, as he described his early days in the country. “Cultural activities took a great part in my discovery of Peru and among them especially live concerts. For a number of reasons, live concerts in Peru are still part of day to day life. You see them in birthday parties, weddings, clubs and bars and not only in concert halls. That’s what made it easy to get acquainted to a variety of bands in the country.” Then with a cast of her die, Lady Luck conspired with Lady Life and approximately eight years ago Lionel while working at a bank in Lima, Lionel became involved in the organization of baroque concert in Lima and Cuzco. This was his first involvement into music promotion and it was a step that would change his life and the landscape of the Peruvian music scene!

This lead to something big for Peru because out of this grew Selvamonos! Throughout the year at various locations and encompassing a range of musical genres, Selvamonos has exploded on the scene. “Selvamonos was created by a group of friends as a one off initiative but organizing the first festival almost 7 years ago acted on us as a virus on most of us and we never lost the taste of doing it since then.” Selvamonos has grown and continues to develop. Today it is well organized and made up of two associations one in Lima, Peru and another in Paris, France. It has six full time employees and a active group of volunteers coming together to host some of Peru’s most anticipated musical events.

Selvamonos has the goal of creating and realizing what is new and interesting on the music scene in Peru and introducing Peruvian contemporary music to a world wide audience. They accomplish this by sending the Peruvian groups abroad, and exposing them on the world stage, as well as by broadening their audience in the country with live concerts. They have sent groups like Dengue Dengue Dengue to Japan, and other Asian countries.

When I asked what had they planned for the future, Lionel, took a sip of his dark unsweetened coffee, smiled and said, “ We have three big events coming for Peru for 2015. A first dedicated to electronic musics on the sea side : Electro Selvamonos – On the 24th of January, a second which is like a mini-festival in Lima presenting the most successful acts of past festivals in a way of inviting people to go and discover the festival selvamonos (18 April) and the third is the Festival Selvamonos in Oxapampa which is also the laboratory for all new ideas that we may have (20-28 of June).

With that said, he got a phone call and began to talk in Spanish to a colleague. It was obvious to me that he had learned the language well over the years and his first intention when entering the country so many years ago had been realized. I could also see that he was a very busy man and with a lot on his plate, so as our meal had concluded, so had our interview. I know with his energy and enthusiasm, Selvamonos with move ever forward and always at a faster pace. We shook hands and I walked away, while Lionel, had not missed a beat and continued his conversation on the phone.

It is a struggle to be sustainable in a country where the government support of cultural initiatives are very limited to continue these events of course must be financially sustainable. Funding for the events is limited and it is ticket sales that make or break cultural activities. Yet, I hope, I think, that Lionel will pull it off. I am looking forward to Electroselvámonos this coming weekend. So I am off to get my tickets! See you there!

Full Impakto! New Exhibition: TEKNOLOGY

Can art marry technology and not end up in a all out and out public display of violent discord? There was a time when art lead technology and the artists of this world pushed the boundaries of technology to create masterpieces of art and architecture! Are we entering a new Renaissance of art? Are today’s artist pushing the limits of our imaginations and available technologies?

This show at Impakto Gallery will feature works by artists on the leading edge of the use of technology in the realization of their art works. The premise for the exhibit is the divide between art and technology that has persisted throughout the ages, (not a premise I totally agree with), but this divide has been breached by the featured group of artists in this show.

This group exhibition aims to show the link between art and technology and the particular manner that each of the participants has utilized technology in their work.

The participating artists are: Nick Gentry (England), Benjamin Dittrich, Annett Zinsmeister, Ewerdt Hilgemann (Germany), Nicole Cohen, Anne Spalter, Shane Hope, Joshua Citarella (USA), Marialejandra Lozano (Peru).

Marialejandra Lozano  is one of the artist taking part in this exhibit and the Peruvian representative of this international mix of artist! Marialejandra’s unique approach to her subjects have been exemplified in various exhibits in Lima, and her eclectic body of work that ranges from paintings to installations, and art actions.

Marialejandra past works have explored history, and the idea of the trace meaning those marks we leave as we pass through life but the concept of the trace has other meanings. I think that as with the Deconstructionist French Philosopher, Derrida’s concepts of “trace”, a duality exists in these works by this young artist. Derrida writes of “trace” as belonging to the sensual and the past, the memory and the trauma, it is absent within the sign but present in the context of the sign. You can not look at anything without seeing what is not present if your eyes and mind are open.  “The trace is the non-meaning that is inevitably brought to mind along with the meaning. The past exists because the present does, and the present is determined by the past. Read the signs of these works but also look at what is not there, and you will gather much more information!

Anne Spalter is an American International artist of some renown and has exhibited widely and her work is included in leading contemporary collections in the US, Europe and the Middle East as well as in museums such as the Albright-Knox (Buffalo, NY), the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum (Providence, RI), and the Victoria & Albert Museum (London, UK).

“My ongoing mission is to combine fine art and technology. I draw inspiration from painting and mathematics as well as geometric and circular patterning of Buddhist and Islamic art. I use custom software to develop patterned compositions that explore the concept of the “modern landscape” and work to bring a spiritual order to life’s complexity.”

“I am currently experimenting with ways to present digital video beyond wall-mounted screens by incorporating the works into sculptural objects or using innovative printing techniques. Anne Spalter Studios has been pioneering the development of Video Prints—printed frames form a video work with live video embedded in the center.”

These works embody the leading edge of the integration of art and technology. Spalter uses technology to push the boundaries of what is art and what is science. Her modes of expression have left the traditional behind, or so it appears, but she has masterfully continued in the Fine Art tradition that she is invested in. I see hints of Brancusi in the gems, and I see hints of other greats from art history in her other works. Her interest in printed video fascinates me. I am looking forward to meeting her that the opening!

“Also under development are Video Gems, small screens encased in gem-shaped resin sculptures. These battery-powered, rechargeable HD screens glow inside the gem. The Video Gems are small structures that can be picked up and handled and displayed in numerous ways.”

Located at Av. Santa Cruz 895, 3rd Floor, Miraflores, Lima 18 – Perú

Edelnor’s Shocking Secret Revealed!

Casa Pitaluga sits in the downtown area of Huacho, only a short stroll from the popular, Plaza Del Sol. It once was the grand home of Lord Arturo Pittaluga, of Italian descendant who settled in Huacho and built this house in the French style according to documents filed on October 14, 1926. It was designed by Ing. Alberto Ortigoso and constructed by Mr. Victor Bisso. The house has a rich and vibrant history, but sadly politics, and possibly greed are allowing it to fall apart and to be lost in the quagmire of time. Why? What could be done? Read on below….

Seeing inside today is impossible. All floors are hardwood with intricate designs, plaster ceilings with beautifully crafted ornamental features and a beautiful staircase of imperial style that unites all levels. The house is surrounded by a wooden fence with concrete pillars, and two gates of the same design. It is truly a historical treasure that is going to waste.

It was expropriated during the military dictatorship, then passed to the Ministry of Energy and Mines; and in the year 1988 Electrolima acquired the property, later named North Lima Electricity Company (Edelnor), who currently own this building and are responsible for its lack of conservation. Why? This is a good question. I suspect the reason is simple politics, and business. They must have ulterior motives of course. Someone has their eyes on this prime piece of land, and someone wants to build something else here. Someone has the idea that once this place has fallen far enough into desolation, it can be declared a public hazard and torn down. It will of course then be replaced by some large ugly glass monstrosity that will never hold any historical value or significance, for Huacho. Authentic History like his can bring money into a town for centuries to come if managed properly.

What could be done? I think one possibility is someone needs to publicize the importance of this building to the community, and explain why it is important and the benefits of maintaining it. Then a committee must form to fight for the building, and then requests to the business and community at large must be made for help in repairing the building. Fund raisers must take place, and Universities, and Governments must be asked to assist. Finally whoever is accountable for the slow destruction of this piece of history must be brought to account!

On their website they claim a commitment to Peru! “We maintain a strong commitment to Peru, not only in providing a continuous electrical service, safe and efficient, but also through the efforts in health, cultural, social and educational development.”

Clearly the Director has not read this. Reynaldo Llosa Barber is director of Edelnor since August 18, 1994 and was appointed Chairman of the Board on April 20, 1999, a position he holds to date. He is also a senior partner and general manager of FN Jones R. S. Ltda., Director of Edegel SAA, Credicorp and Banco de Credito del Peru, as well as other companies.If you care and want to do something make a contact here:

Contact: Edelnor SAA Communication Management

Jr. César López Rojas 201 Urb. Maranga, San Miguel Lima – Peru Phone: +51 1 5171016Fax: +51 1 5612001 1822 Annex

E: [email protected]

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What’s Gauguin got to do with Peru?

No you won’t find carvings by Guaguin in Central Lima, or at the MAC, nor will you find his foot prints on the Inca trail. It is doubtful he ever hiked there. Yet, he is connected to Peru. You see Gauguin was actually 1/8th Peruvian!

Though little has been written about his early childhood, it has been documented that he had relatives from a very old and venerated family who had settled in Arequipa in the in the 17th Century. Guaguin’s maternal Great-Grandfather was Don Mariano de Tristan Moscoso who was the son of a notable Peruvian family. Like many upper class Peruvian children of the day, Mariano was sent to study in Paris, and later made a career in the military.

In the 1790’s he was sent to Spain to over see Peruvian troops stationed there. It was during this period that he met a fine looking young lady from France, named Anne Marie Laisnay, and married her. Oddly or maybe as commonly as it is today, they failed to file the proper papers, or had their cats name misspelled, or some such thing and so their marriage was not recognized by the French government nor by poor ole Mariano’s family in Peru. They were not having this young French tart corrupting their sanctified blood!

When Don Mariano died in 1807 he left behind a grieving widow and two young up-starts without a paupers penny to their names and no legal claim to the fortunes of the family, which were substantial. M.s Laisnay would spend the rest of her life fighting in vain to have the courts give her and her children their rightful inheritance to no avail!

Flora Celistine one of those children and the grandmother of Gauguin later traveled to Peru and made a new claim in person on her inheritance. Maybe she was a great talker, or a great beauty, or maybe just a very intelligent woman, but she managed to get her hands on some of what she was owed. She later became a very famous writer with the pen name of Flora Tristan! Her first book ,” Peregrainations of a Pariah” 1838, documented her journey to Peru in 1833-34.

She was later to become of of Frances greatest advocates for social reform, and fought for the poor and down trodden. Her daughter, Gauguin’s mother was raised in Paris among a community of ex-patriot South Americans.

Gauguin’s early childhood was spent living in Lima, Peru in the house of his great uncle. He would later join the French merchant Marine and spend his formative years at sea travelling the world! So there you have it, Gauguin’s Peruvian ties! Who would have figured?

The Beautiful Melancholy of Angel

I am going to tell you a secret about art. I am going to give you an insight that you may have already, but do not recognize. If you want to know what it is you innately know but have not defined then you should read on. I think that one of the most difficult things for an artist to accomplish is to affect the viewer with a sense of his own emotion at the time of creation, when they look at a work. In some forms of art this is much easier to accomplish, such as theatre, and music, but in the pictorial arts it can be difficult to achieve. In photography it can be possible to capture a moment, and stop time. That is to halt an instance of time so that, that moment of light being shared with the eye, and that emotional effect being shared with the brain of the photographer is later shared with the viewer. Angel Colunge is an artist who has mastered the camera, and who can bring you into his mind-set with his work. You the viewer become a participant in the images and not just a voyeur.

“I do not believe in the truth. I believe in the interpretation of words, of gestures, of actions, of documents, and of photographs. Everything changes and everything has an end, especially the moments that pass by, the time that is lost while you read this line. There is no way back. This is the way I take pictures; thinking about what is leaving and will never come back. This is the reason why I am not a documentary photographer, and if I do document anything, it would be my own feelings, which would have been awakened by events, which randomly crossed my way. I do not look for anything concrete; I just run around and steal images of what will never be again.

Each project on my website attempts to show this feeling: of what has gone, of what I have been, of who has crossed my way. There are no stories, they are just memories, they are just dead episodes of my own trajectory. They do not intend to be ‘works or art’, but rather an intimate testimony of situations in which I found myself wishing to take pictures, trying to innocently preserve an “I” that can never be in communion with others. This is an “I” who is always wandering around and taking pictures not to feel involved in order to become distant and therefor; to remain sensible.”

Ángel Enrique Colunge Rosales was born on November 1st 1979 in La Oroya, “one of the most polluted cities in the world.” When he was three years old his mother brought him to Lima while his father worked in mining settlements as a teacher. He grew up in the Elio neighborhood in the Cercado district in Lima, Peru, where he still lives today. He attended the ‘Fray Luis de Leon’ elementary and high school, which was close to his house. “I did not learn anything there. What I have learnt, I learnt it from the books my parents bought me.”

The photos that Angel takes have an honesty about them. There are no gimmicks, or tricks, except those imposed on the lens by light and shade. You can sense that he is an honest person, unafraid to be exposed. In his own words you get a feeling for the man. “I am boring in real life but when I drink I am somehow funny, after which I am horrible. I feel I am more ‘cholo’ than Peruvian and this makes me proud.” He does not hide behind a false facade, and he speaks of his life with facts, and has no pretension.

“I was frequently ill, and I seldom played in the streets. My best friends were the Mori, the most generous family I have ever met. My father took a lot of pictures of me when I was a child and, this way, fulfilled the unavoidable task loving parents do. That was how I met the Polaroid and the Reflex cameras… that was also how I understood that taking pictures is a ritual of love.”

This “ritual of love” is a passion that Angel has allowed to foster, and grow. His early formative years expressed in the images he takes today show us a mind that is insightful and observant. The contrast of light and shadow, both illuminate and hide truths that Angel shares with us all. His images open vistas of thought, that allow our minds to feel the dramatic melancholy of his heart, and give us unsolicited insights into the thought processes of this extraordinary man.

Mysterious Enigmatic Artist Lissette Cruzalegui Soria

Where are we going? Where are we from? Why are we here? Was the title of a very famous painting by Gauguin, which was completed in 1897 in Tahiti. The painting is one that asks questions and conceals answers. It was both allegory and catechism. It reflected the thoughts of the painter and directed questions at the viewer.

Lissette Cruzalegui Soria is a young Peruvian artist with a passion for life and a very refined talent for painting. Not unlike this work of the Master Gauguin, Lissette is looking for answers to eternal questions and she hides in her work personal mysteries that the viewer is left to unravel. Also like this work of Gauguin Lissette uses text in her works to ask the viewer to see more than the image and she also uses coded language to disguise her personal enigma.

Visual artist Lissette Cruzalegui Soria is of mixed heritage and has an ancestry that includes the unique Euskaldunak people commonly referred to as the Basque. This ethnic group is indigenous to an area of Europe that straddles Northern Spain and parts of France. They are a unique people with a unique language. So there is more to this young lady than meets the eye. She is of a mysterious past and brings that into her works, either consciously, or unconsciously.

Lissette’s use of a vibrant color palette and delineation to break up her images into a montage of color reminds one of the traditional weaving’s of Peruvian indigenous peoples. Her abstracted self-portraits have the cubistic sensitivity of style. Her word-painting is completed with the rawness of direct brush to canvas that gives the images a graffito eccentric manner. The paintings are Byzantine and very complex in both content and composition. These works are challenging for the viewer and require close scrutiny.

Lissette has entitled her upcoming solo exhibition, “Mixsticius” (mixed or mixed) a word that identifies people who have ancestors from different ethnicity and cultures. Cruzalegui invites us to reflect on the formation of human identity as part of an intercultural process. This of course was what Gauguin was constantly asking us to do as well, but Ms. Cruzalegui poses these questions in an incomparable and invariable style that is her own, and as unique as herself!

In 2010 Lissette graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the National University of San Marcos after completing her studies in Visual Arts at la Escuela Superior de Artes Visuales Corriente Alterna. She has worked in publications, lectures, performances and group shows in Peru and abroad. Her drawings have been used as illustrations in two books, Eros and Tanatos, November 2012, and Artistas Peruanas Contemporaneas, August 2011.

La experiencia de vivir la Ópera, al interior de una Orquesta

Written by Fernanda Cruz

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Fernanda Cruz |***|@Khipuz

Orquesta Sinfónica “Ciudad de los Reyes”. Lima – Perú

La experiencia de vivir la Ópera al interior de una orquesta, es uno de los acontecimientos que espero con mayor afán en el transcurso del año. En mayo tendremos ópera en Lima, la primera del año, y es todo un acontecimiento, pues se contará entre las dos o tres representaciones que celebramos anualmente en la ciudad, producidas por dos o tres asociaciones culturales diferentes. Es una pena que no se realicen más óperas.

Cualquiera que no asistió a una representación anteriormente le aseguro que gustará mucho del género después de su primera experiencia.

Pero convencer de esto a un instrumentista es tarea más complicada, a pesar que es el productor del universo sonoro que da vida al guión. La música es la que sumerge al espectador en la historia y arroba las emociones de hasta el más frío espectador. Por dar un ejemplo, ante el triste desenlace del título Madamma Butterfly, cuando la pobre Cio-Cio San no encuentra más opción que dar fin a su vida con un harakiri en un acto de recuperar su honor, cuántos hombres y mujeres han sucumbido sin poder contener las furtivas lágrimas atravesando sus mejillas, conteniendo la respiración en la oscuridad de los palcos que los oculta de cualquier posible inquisidora mirad.

Sin embargo, para el músico, ubicado en el “foso” del teatro (ese espacio debajo del escenario), la historia es diferente.

Hacer música para ópera es uno de los mayores retos de un músico, no solo por la demanda de una depurada técnica, sino por otras exigencias. No olvidemos que el instrumentista desarrolla su performance por tres o cinco horas, dependiendo de la obra, permaneciendo cada segundo en una concentración máxima al nivel de monje tibetano, con capacidad de reflejo similar a la de un conductor de F-1 para seguir cada inflexión de la batuta del director, una capacidad física de acróbata y resistencia de un maratonista.

Por eso muchos prefieren la música sinfónica, el género de música netamente instrumental, que tiene lugar en el escenario del teatro, no en el foso, que se extiende por alrededor de dos horas y generalmente con un descanso intermedio.

Para mí, ese desafío artístico y físico me atraen al género, la otra parte por supuesto, es la pasión profunda por la misma música y el guión, que narra a desenlaces mortales casi por norma general; vivirla la representación, y al culminar volver a la vida real sano y salvo, exhausto pero en una sola pieza.

Qué implica este viaje operístico desde el oscuro foso del teatro donde estratégicamente se ubica la orquesta y su director?

Mantener la mirada fija en la batuta y el gesto del director todas esas horas, mientras te mantienes alerta a los sonidos alrededor, a los cambios de intensidad sonora, cambios de ritmo, cambios de velocidad, cambios de carácter que debes seguir estrictamente. Permanecer alerta cuando la emoción hacia la cual te lleva la música, como el canto de sirenas que desean hipnotizarte para sumergirte con ellas, ante las cuales debes mantenerte totalmente cuerdo y concentrado, como el equilibrista sobre su cuerda floja, para acertar una perfecta afinación, mantener el ritmo, la articulación y esos saltos mortales de intervalos que pueden hacer trastabillar tu sonido perlado.

Roméo et Juliette by Charles Gounod. Asociación Festival Internacional de Ópera “Alejandro Granda” Lima – Perú

Pero lo más crucial son esos acordes sonoros y sorpresivos, generalmente en ritmos irregulares que acompañan la línea de algún cantante que dilata momentos de tensión y drama, en esos momentos es cuando todos fijamos nuestros ojos con la mayor fuerza posible en la mano del director, esperamos inmóviles y rígidos durante infinitos segundos como un felino que asecha tras los arbustos esperando el instante exacto para saltar certeramente, sin espacio a herrar. Al fin la mano del director se mueve veloz y enérgica, aspiramos inmediatamente a la velocidad de esa mano que se eleva en parábola, sin parpadear ejecutamos el acorde con la mayor intensidad posible, con la técnica rigurosa que mantiene esa calidad sonora.

Bajo un esfuerzo sobrehumano mantenemos la respiración diafragmática, esa que aprendimos de niños en nuestros primeros años de conservatorio, la postura erguida en todo momento, esforzándonos por mantener la flexibilidad; la emoción no te puede consumir, porque vienen más acordes, más veloces, otros más lentos, pero no hay tiempo de sumergirnos en la partitura para medir su advenimiento, solo queda mantener un ojo en la partitura y el otro haciendo guardia fija de la batuta, desconectamos por un lapso de tiempo ese pequeño fragmento de córtex cerebral dedicada al control del ritmo, no hay ritmo, todos seguimos la mano certera del director.

De pronto la tensión explota, reactivamos esa corteza cerebral inmediatamente para ejecutar en nuestros respectivos instrumentos, esta vez con perfecta regularidad rítmica, el caudal de semicorcheas que ahora son el desenlace de alguna escena de batalla en el escenario, justo sobre nuestras cabezas, allá donde no podemos ver nada y casi ni siquiera escuchar, solo la batuta es nuestra guía, esas pequeñas notas se deslizan a la velocidad de una cascada de violentas aguas, mientras mantenemos el pulso cardíaco lo más bajo posible, para no perder la lucidez y reproducir a la perfección cada movimiento de la mano del director, cada gesto, cada respiración suya, cada inflexión.

El carácter cambia cuando la soprano aparece en escena con su canto amoroso, transformando el aire súbitamente a una sutil melodía, aquí hacemos gala de nuestra mayor bipolaridad posible, para transformar el anterior cuadro a una escena tierna, pura, donde se entretejen bellas melodías que hablan de ingenuidad, de esperanza en un fructífero amor.

Pero las óperas como ya mencionamos, en su gran mayoría, culminan en tragedia y muerte.

Roméo et Juliette by Charles Gounod. Asociación Festival Internacional de Ópera “Alejandro Granda” Lima – Perú

Entonces aquella quietud que inspira suspiros se oscurece nuevamente para surgir una tensión final, esta vez un trágico desenlace se acerca. Aquí, en la hora cuatro o cinco, debemos mostrar la energía mayor, a una intensidad superior a la mostrada en toda la obra. El dolor de espalda, la fatiga, el dolor de brazos y los ojos que ya se niegan a leer con claridad la partitura, la emoción y fatiga que quieren llevarte en tu propio ritmo y no en el del conjunto, por enésima vez, el señalado por el director, todas estas cosas no deben ser obstáculo para culminar la obra de arte con un exultante y pulido final, expuesto en matices [_fff _](muy muy fuerte) apasionados, dramáticos, pomposos.

Esos sonidos desbordantes de emociones que terminan con un estruendoso teatro en aplauso y ovaciones, las luces se encienden y resplandecen, más ovaciones, el rugir de los aplausos continúa, y al fin podemos distender nuestros cuerpos, mirarnos unos a otros exhaustos, entrar en conciencia de la realidad, aterrizar al mundo real otra vez. Respirar profundamente. Contemplando la grandeza de la obra de arte para la cual somos un instrumento que la hace vivir cada vez.

Roméo et Juliette by Charles Gounod. Asociación Festival Internacional de Ópera “Alejandro Granda” Lima – Perú

De regreso al backstage. Y apenas unos segundos después, toda esta tensión y emoción sobrehumana se reduce a un camerino silencioso, a un pasillo blanco y vacío, a una noche fría, a un cuerpo transpirado y exhausto, una fatiga mental que se traduce en tristeza, la que fue depresión y perdición para muchos artistas que no supieron superarla. Para otros, sí una sensación de melancolía llena de esperanza.

Solo miro al cielo y sus estrellas perladas, esperando que llegue la noche de la siguiente Función, para empezar nuevamente la batalla de las emociones, los sonidos, la voluptuosa música y la rigurosa técnica para erigir nuevamente un monumento que fue escrito por mentes geniales en otros tiempos.La orquesta vuelve al foso, los cantantes vuelven al escenario, el director a su pódium y el público volverá a estallar en ovaciones.

Parties of sex and debauchery: DÍAS DE JUERGA

I can recall the madness of the two decades of the 80’s and 90’s well. There was in the disco’s of the Eighties that feeling that life would never end and the music blasting from the speakers screamed the drug hazed anthems of the day as we all danced away the night inebriated on booze and song and the euphoria of the times. The never-ending parties of sex and debauchery would have made any Roman blush and the bedroom intrigues and twisted tales of love and love lost, jealousies, and break ups are all now history, and faded memories.

Andrea Visconti is a young Limeña who comes from a wealthy, conservative family and lives in a house of Olivar de San Isidro. In 2000, at the age of twenty years, she decides to go study in Madrid. This decision leads to circumstances she had not foreseen. She discovers a life filled intense partying, and travel. She begins having experiences between lbiza and Amsterdam, which mature her in an unusually rapid fashion, shaping her personality in unexpected ways. Andrea is one of the characters you will meet in this new Novel by Peruvian author Jorge Irribarren.

“Dias de Juerga”, is a story of those times that takes place between cities, and people, and across continents. Over a passage of time it blends stories and mingles memories and remembrances of the decades of the 80s and 90s, allowing the reader, along with the characters within the story, to interact with real figures, to analyze social situations, and discuss political value judgments and criticism, as well as experience habits and customs that are part of the passing of their lives in Lima. We are taken along on this roller coaster of intense literature as the tale develops chaotically into the year of 2011.

To great effect the author combines music and stories in an enchanting and provocative way to enthrall us as readers and lovers of music. The beautiful lyrics that accompany the telling includes a eclectic selection allowing us to relive the evolution of electronic music and the DJ; We share with the characters their problems, frustrations and joys,as we all travel together and enjoy the fun in bars and exclusive parties and nightclubs between Lima, Mancora, Madrid, lbiza and Amsterdam, and thus experience the drinks, drugs, and the sex – narrated explicitly and without moral judgment. We become part of the love and heartbreak as the novel takes various characters and their stories all culminating into a final,….Ok, I will stop there because I do not want to give away any spoilers, but suffice it to say, do not have a hot cup of coffee in your hand when you come to the end!

I am recommending this book for anyone who loves a good read. It may not suit all tastes but as far as storytelling goes it is of the highest caliber! In some ways the telling reminded me of the stories of the beatnik poets of the fifties, such as Ginsberg, and the sex scenes of Anaïs Nin who by the way was of Spanish heritage,but then it also has the touch of rawness that makes it so much more contemporary. If you are a fan of fiction and you love music then this is a novel you will want to add to your library!

The book is also for sale at El Virrey, as well as Liberia Sur .

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Salvador Dali and Jack Cohen

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Salvador Dali Sighting at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City – February 16, 1973

Credit: Ron Galella / contributor

From an Interview with Jack Cohen, April, 2015 by Gerard Kelly

At ten his grandparents took him on a trip to New York. They were in the lobby of the St. Regis Hotel
when a young Jack Cohen spotted a strange man sitting in a large chair in the lobby, wearing a huge fur coat, with a grand and eccentric mustache and a woman with him wearing a strange head dress. He turned to his Grandfather, an asked,” Who is that strange man.” “Oh, he replied, “That is a very famous artist, and his name is Salvador Dali, you should go and say hello, he speaks Spanish, and he is from Spain.” So, no shyer then, than now Jack said Hello and Dali was welcoming to both him and his Grandfather. They spoke for a short time and Jack left to run to a corner art book store, returning with a book of Dali’s work, which Salvador signed on the spot, It was almost Christmas, and Dali did a small drawing inside with a Star, and other symbols of the season for his new young admirer. A proud and excited young boy left the lobby to peruse his great prize! Looking through the book he was very excited and he began to look at the paintings and reading about Dali,..he saw one painting in particular, a painting of the invasion of the Arabs into Spain. It was a very interesting painting for this young lover of numbers who even at that age had a decidedly mathematical inclination. The painting depicted the invasion of the Arabs into Spain, but all the figures had their heads replaced by numbers as opposed to faces,..and as he read he discovered the spread of the Arab knowledge of numbers into Europe. It was after all the Arabs who invented Algebra. Numbers also played a huge part in Dali’s work, then and into the future. So it is to this chance meeting that we owe or debt to Salvador Dali for the man Jack Cohen who is working to change the face of Contemporary Art in Peru!

At about this time as well, Braniff International airline began to paint their planes by Calder. Seeing these huge painted flying canvases had an Impakt on his outlook that follows him in his decision making to this day. He felt it was great that art was applied to planes. “Today we see it more and more, and art has no boundaries. Art is incorporated into everything,..furniture, fashion, etc,..but then it was something very new!”

With his partners Michael Grimberg, Jack and Jose De Aubeyson Gomberoff they have invested more than a quarter million dollars during the first year of operations, of Impakto which focuses on exhibiting the of works by young foreign and Peruvian Contemporary Artists, mixed in with some of today’s well known, established artists.Jack is an eclectic collector who is absolutely unfocused,.. He follows no trends, or specific genres, no periods, or specific artists, he is motivated by his own aesthetic sensibilities..he buys what he loves, and his collection is full of a broad spectrum of art!

Oliver

Jack Cohen Grimberg, Annie Splater at Impakto Gallery

He is an art lover without boundaries. He feels boundaries are confining, and he wants the liberty to buy what he loves, and not to be limited by some set dogma that would limit him to only Peruvian, or Asian art, or even Contemporary art for that matter. He understands those people who do this, but he had other beliefs, and see art through a prism that allows him a broad spectrum to choose from!

Jack’s mother was born in Peru and his father was born in Argentina, but his family has its origins in Turkey and Greece, and later on his mother’s side before they immigrated to Peru, from France, and on his father’s side from England. Fortunately these migrations took place before WWII and thus his family was not inflicted with the horrors of the Holocaust. Jack went to school in Peru until he started college and moved to the United States to study at Cornell University, one of the most prestigious, Ivy League Colleges. This school has educated and graduated some of the world’s greatest men including over 45 Nobel Prize winners!

He does not take it lightly that he is a collector. He feels that it comes with great responsibility, and it comes with a purpose that sometimes forces you into dark places. Your mind must be molded and educated into the main stream of contemporary art. Jack is an eclectic collector who is absolutely unfocused,… He follows no trends, or specific genres, no periods, or specific artists, he is motivated by his own aesthetic sensibilities. He buys what he loves, and his collection is full of a broad range of art!

Gerard |***|@Khipuz

 People in Peru are scared of buying and investing in new artists and new things. There is a resistance to investment in the new by those collectors here. Jack will not be deterred by this and he has time on his side. While most Galleries here are dedicated to Peruvian and Regional artists, Jack sees a role for Galleries to be open to the outside and to education. “An interest in art is something you have or do not have, you’re sensitive to art or you’re not. The passion is something you must have, you can be educated in art, but without the passion, you only have knowledge, having your blood boiling is essential.” Many new young artists are coming to the fore front now and they have started to develop a Contemporary Culture in Peru of art and artists that is unique. The educational systems are shifting and graduating many young and exciting artists. Some schools like the PUCP though progressive to an extent seem to push the importance of making political statements with art and that has never in history bore fruit, yet it persists and the philosophy of some professors that this is a purpose for art persist. Yet Contemporary Philosophers such as Jacques Rancière argue the opposite. This has changed everywhere in the world. There is little place for this genre of art anymore and it has never shown any effect in the past. “Artists today want to sell their work. The cliche image of the starving artists dedicated to his or her work and unwilling to be flexible within the market is gone. Today the artist must be business person, the artist must promote himself, or she and the artists must be willing to compromise to survive.”

Jack loves murals and public art. He feels that, Óscar Luis Castañeda Lossio , the Mayor has made a great mistake with his cover up of the Murals in the downtown, and that it was a political move, to cover up the work of his predecessor.

 

 

 

Mural in Center of Lima

“Some of the murals also had political messages that the Mayor disagreed with. Murals today are a sign of political motivation, but they are also aesthetic.” He does agree that the Historic Center should be kept intact, but the Mayor while worrying about paintings on some walls allows the historic center to crumble about our feet and allows developers to come in and destroy other historically reliant buildings, a mixed message is being sent and the priorities of the Mayor are askew. “He should be more concerned with maintaining the famous Balconies of Lima, a the houses that are run down,”..those intangible cultural artifacts are much more important. To start his ruling by destroying these Murals was not a good idea. “He should have at least allowed people to have a voice in this decision. He could have discussed this with the artists and offered them some new walls in another part of the city.” He felt ArtLima was brought into this storm and it has had some negative press because of it, but the decision to team with the city was made two years ago during the planning stages for this year’s event and it was the negative actions of the incumbent Mayor that brought this shadow over the event. It was all bad timing. Some galleries decided to leave, some artists decided not to participate and within 24 hours ArtLima decided to sever its ties with the Municipality of Lima. Jack does not like politics and shies away from questions about these controversial issues. He feels all of this was unfortunate and just untimely.

Opening crowd at Impakto!

Impakto’s future is intact, and there are some great exhibits coming up. One coming later in the year will be a show of solely female artists. Jack wants to promote the works of female artists because he feels strongly that this minority is under represented and undervalued. We are truly fortunate to have someone like Jack Cohen, a home grown entrepreneur of impeccable taste and highly intelligent, with a interest in the betterment of this City and Country. Keep reading as we will be following Impakto into the future and keep you updated on future exhibits and events sponsored by them and other Galleries in Peru!

“Ñahuinchasca” : The Chosen Human Sacrifice

In Jose Huaman Turpo’s 2012 Documentary: INKARRI 500 years of resistance of the incan Spirit in Peru, he took us through history and gave us insights into the people known as the Q’eros. The Q’ eros, more than most indigenous communities in Peru, have maintained cultural traditions surviving from the Pre-Hispanic era. Ranging from agricultural to medical to spiritual, these customs reflect the community’s Andean belief system and its close connection to the Earth and surrounding mountains.The community’s practice of these traditions has earned it the distinction of being the last existing Incan Ayllu. Jose has always had an interest in archaeology and history, and this interested was fermented by his mother much as chicha was traditionally fermented by women.

Jose was born in Paucartambo. “It is an interesting town because it’s like a laboratory where I learned how to be part of a community.” Jose lived his formative years in Paucartambo until he was 6, and his family moved to the city of Cusco. Coming from a small mountain village and not having had any exposure to large cities, even the small city of Cusco was a shock to this young boy! It was a culture-shock that he never got over. “I didn’t get used to the city, so I often traveled back to Paucartambo.” Jose completed secondary school in Cusco and entered the school of Bella de Artes in Cusco, and also later University.  “I wasn’t happy about either of them.”

Jose Huaman filming

With some further academic training at the Private University Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Jose found his niche in film, and a love of movie making. Jose accumulated experience in different aspects of the film industry by working on films in a wide variety of positions from that of property assistant, to assistant director with  filmmakers as well as production houses, such as Venevision production co Pantel (Peru-Venezuela), Network Manchete, O Globo (Brazil), National Television of Chile, RAI (Italy), National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Film & R & D Production Aps ( Denmark), as well  Directors; Fernando Pino Solana, “The Journey”; Marian Heidi, “Life is a single”; Daniel Heisental, “The Ñaq’aq”, “Cinderella Andina”; Yanit Decoste, ¨ “God did not come Tonight”; Silvia Rivera, “Dream of the Red Room”; Mofini, “Qoyllority of the Incas”; Martin Horta, “Sound and Light”; Cristine Rosental, “Wisdom Tribal V & Modernity” and other filmmakers all of whom have contributed to the formation of more than 30 years of Andean Film Industry.

After spending some time away and working in Argentina and Chile for some of these various companies Jose returned to his beloved Peru and the mountains that had informed his growth and kindled his desire to learn and know why in these mountains mysteries still existed, and why spiritualism and mysticism was still strong!  “These experiences allowed me to have a new level of awareness. I saw that many traditions and customs were being lost, so I decided to do something about it. And being a quechua speaker helped a lot, because it allows me to perceive many more things. This language gives me more information, since quechua is a language of the senses.”

 

Carla Barron and Jose Huaman Turpo

Jose has begun a new project and the evening I met him for this interview at a small cafe in the heart of Cusco, he was preparing to fly to Bolivia later that evening. “I’m working on a series called: “Los Misterios de los Andes” (The Mysteries of the Andes). I’m trying to give a voice and a face to the indigenous people. Social sciences talk about them in a subjective way,they don’t see the human being in his actions or their transcendence as a culture, as a civilization.” Jose has deep insight into these people and he has been informed since an early age and he credits his mother with instilling in him the desire to not only understand and know the cold hard facts like a scientist, but to understand the underlying spiritual and human aspects of the people he works with. Jose may be on the other side of the lens and a spectator during filming, but his close connections to these peoples throughout his life and his connections via language causes doors to open that no other anthropologists, or scientist might ever unlock. “What I try to do here, unlike anthropologists, is to get to the soul, the spirit of the people, what motivates them to perform a ritual, a ceremony.”

Jose Huaman Turpo with some friends

“Soon I’ll release this short film called “Ñahuinchasca” which means ‘appointed one’. Before the Incas the ñahuinchasca was girl chosen to be offered to the gods during a ritual performed to request something. I had the opportunity to document a recreation of this event at the Colca valley, in a town called Pinchollo. Half of the population are Wari descendants, the other half are Tiahuanaco’s.” Both the Wari and Tiahuanaco cultures predate the Inca and the ingenious abilities of the Tiahuanaco is evident in the Alto Plato of Bolivia. Around AD 400 a state in the Titicaca basin began to develop and an urban capital was built at Tiwanaku. Their stone work rivaled that of the late comers, the Inca, and the stones some weighting over 100 tons were quarried from over ten kilometers away and carried to the construction site. The building techniques too were very advanced and the stones were hewed into large rectangular blocks as opposed to the organic construction techniques employed by the Inca. Today the remnants of these peoples still exist in the high plans of the Andes and they still carry on the rituals of their ancestors. The rites and the magic have been passed mostly unaltered from one generation to the next. “That’s why I’m working with them. Because they know their culture. They also have a mission as’ the guardians of life’. They preserve life through cultural manifestations and their sense of belonging. I’m interested in what motivates them to continue recreating these rituals in spite of technology progressing, but they resist because they consider their traditions have been inherited.”

Making documentary films does not hold the same sex appeal for advertisers as feature Hollywood style films do, and corporate sponsorship is hard come by, and so much of the work that Jose does is self-sponsored. There is no government support for this genre of films and yet they are so very important as a medium of documentation of Peruvian Cultural Heritage, that is hard to fathom why the Peruvian Government is not pouring money into these chronicles of Peruvian Culture. Like all artists Jose Huaman Turpo struggles to realize the broad canvases he paints of stories that delve into the heart of what it is to be human and Peruvian, all realized in digital moving imagery as vast as the expanses of the mountains and plateaus that are the back-drop to these stories. Jose is determined to make sure this culture lives on and the only way he can realize these works of art is to make personal sacrifices on the mountains of his dreams. “Let’s remember that this scenario was once the cradle of a great civilization. I don’t think though it was an empire but rather a confederation of states. Even now, and parallel to the Peruvian government exists this confederation.”

Erotic ART & Human Nature

It is a fact possibly not so well known in Peru, or at least not acknowledged that one of the countries most recognized artists’ works were those of an erotic pin up artists named Alberto Vargas who was born 9 February 1896 and lived to the ripe age of 86 years, dying on 30 December 1982. He was the son of noted Peruvian photographer Max T. Vargas.

 

Vargas Girl

He is often considered one of the most famous of the pin-up artists. Numerous Vargas paintings have sold and continue to sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Vargas was born in Arequipa, Peru, Joaquin Alberto Vargas moved to the United States in 1916 after studying art in Europe in Zurich and Geneva prior to World War I. While he was in Europe he came upon the French magazine La Vie Parisienne, with a cover by Raphael Kirchner, which he said was a great influence on his work.

His early career in New York included work as an artist for the Ziegfeld Follies and for many Hollywood studios. Ziegfeld hung his painting of Olive Thomas at the theater, and she was thought of as one of the earliest Vargas Girls. Vargas’ most famous piece of film work was for the poster of the 1933 film The Sin of Nora Moran, which shows a near-naked Zita Johann in a pose of desperation. The poster is frequently named one of the greatest movie posters ever made.

As a master of the erotic genre Vargas has surpassed all but he was not the first to adopt this art form as means of expression, and certainly not the first Peruvian. The Moche civilization flourished in northern Peru with its capital near present-day Moche and Trujillo, from about 100 AD to 800 AD . They had a highly advanced culture and artistic tradition. One of the aspects of Moche art was a preponderance of erotic ceramic pieces. I would assume because of the amount of ceramics that have survived that possibly these art forms existed in other materials less durable to the ravishes of time.

These Peruvians celebrated life and sexuality without the restrains placed on Christian cultures. They embraced their humanity in a way that expressed human existence as part of nature, and sex as a natural aspect of the natural world. Other cultures throughout human history have, before being influenced by the in-humanistic codes of Christianity, with its loathing for anything previous and its all too moralistic human constructs of what is right and wrong, also had strong traditions of artistic uninhibited expression.

Sex was less inhibited in ancient Roman Pompeii than it is today in most countries. There were few prohibitions and sex was just one aspect, albeit a very significant one, of human nature. The motto in Pompeii, which could be found on the erotic art and walls, drinking vessels, as well as plaques, read “enjoy life while you can for tomorrow is uncertain”. Sex ranked as a great way to enjoy oneself and others, and while the stereotypical Roman orgies were most likely not part of daily life, certainly sex was acceptable, practiced, and celebrated.

Sex was a completely normal and fulfilling experiencing in Pompeii, and most of what we know about the eroticism that took place there was left on the walls and can be seen in the many sculptures that were recovered. The fact is that there are no cultures in the world that do not have some tradition of the celebration of sex as a normal and intrinsic part of society and the natural cycles of life, except the misconceived notions propagated by Christianity. It is my opinion that Christianity has caused more hardship, more strife, death, and suffering throughout history and then all the wars of the world combined.

Portrait of Cesar Moro

César Moro is the pseudonym of Alfredo Quíspez Asín, a Peruvian poet and painter. He travelled to Paris in 1925 and most of his poetic works are written in French. Born Alfredo Quíspez Asín in Lima, Peru, he changed his name to César Moro at the age of 20 after a character by author Ramón Gómez de la Serna. Having studied French in Lima, Moro left for Paris in 1925 to pursue dance and art, but art and poetry became his main interests, and he exhibited in collective shows in Brussels in 1926 and in Paris in 1927. He entered into the exchange of ideas and art with the likes of André Breton, Paul Éluard, Benjamin Péret, and, outside the surrealist group, Henri and Simone Jannot. During his “scandalous life”, he met and influenced many in the literary and art worlds. At a time when the surrealist were developing their doctrines he was a great influence. He remained so until his homosexuality came to light and he was ostracized by Andre Breton. Previous to this split he had contributed to André Breton’s surrealist journals of the 1920s and ’30s. His lifestyle was self-declared as scandalous! Despite his relocation to Paris, Moro continued to publish in Latin America, including in the Peruvian periodical Amauta no. 14 (April 1928), which printed “Oráculo” (“Oracle”), “Infancia” (“Childhood”), and “Following you around.” In France he published a1933 anti-war manifesto “La mobilisation contre la guerre n’est pas la paix” and added a note condemning Peruvian dictator Sánchez Cerro’s bloody suppression of an uprising by sailors against poor nutrition and cruel discipline. After his return to Lima in 1934, Moro continued to write against those in power. The police of dictator Óscar Benavides entered Moro’s home and confiscated copies of his clandestine pamphlet CADRE (Comité de Apoyo a la Repúbica Española [Support Committee of the Spanish Republic]), which supported the Spanish Republic. Finally, in 1938, he was forced to flee Peru as a result of police harassment.

Johnny-Palacios-Hidalgo

Peruvian painter Johnny Palacios Hidalgo [1970] was born in Lima, Peru and studied art between 1988-1998 in the National Art Museum and the National School of Fine Arts. Is another artist who has found his influences in the erotic and surreal genres of art. As a contemporary Peruvian artists, it is my opinion that he is technically one of the finest painting today in this genre.

“I’m trying to delve a little deeper into my technique, trying to find more details in the hyperrealism in order to get and give more credence to the ideas that I raise, they are fantasies, surrealism, ideas of an alternate world, different, parallel and ideal. “The characters work remain the same street characters to which I try to assign my own fantasies as if they were of them.”He said in an interview to the environment” THE SPOKESMAN “in August 2008.
He uses typically Peruvian iconography and personal symbology to create images of exquisite lightness. His has been influenced by Dali and his style evokes that of the great master of surrealism.

“The characters and my scenes are all together and are part of the same story, the same theater. Each artist has different styles, but in me is also the scenery, the facade and floor. Salvador Dalí brought me back to my early days. I nourished his style, its fantastic images and started that way-not as now using more color. The color is currently more subdued because it is the relationship that I have in my environment, in Lima, which is more subdued. “ (E12 STAGE, June 2003)
Will erotic art ever lose its luster in the minds of humans? I think not as along as humans have mines and are self-aware, because sexuality and erotica have always been and will always be a part of human nature. They are a part of what it means to be human. These aspects of humanity and nature should be celebrated not only in our art, but in our lives! To deny our sexuality is to deny our natural place within the cosmos! Art has since the Venus of Willendorf, one of the most famous items of prehistoric sculpture, it was sculpted from oolitic limestone, and is one of three such figurines unearthed at Paleolithic archaeological sites at Willendorf in Austria. The sites have yielded numerous artifacts dating to Gravettian culture (26-20,000 BCE). These Venus sculptures have been found across Europe and most date back to these earliest days of human civilization.

Memories of Transformation

Today, I laughed and had more fun doing an interview than at any other time in my writing career, thanks to both Viviana Zargon and Bruno Zeppilli. Another Peruvian artist Giancarlo Vitor, had invited me to come meet Viviana on Friday but I was predisposed. So, I went to the MAC this morning to meet Argentinian artist Viviana Zargon, and her friend Bruno, another Peruvian artist. The interview was very informal and the levity of the intercourse was lighthearted , creating a jovial atmosphere. Bruno who spoke perfect English was of great assistance in breaking the ice, with his wit and humor. We will learn a lot more about him in a future article and Giancarlo as well!

Curated by Rodrigo Alonso the exhibit,“Arqueologias de la Memoria” ,of works by Argentinian artist Viviana Zargon presently on display at the MAC in Lima, is about transformation on many levels. The works themselves are transformations of technique from Photo to Painting, from paper to canvas, from light to glass. The totality of the works is about the real transformation of the places represented in the works. All of this combined on yet another level is about the transformation of information in memory, and how we perceive this information in our own reality.

When we take a photograph we are, no matter how physically close to our subject detached from it. We are isolated behind the lens and the reality we see via the lens is not the reality that exists either for the live or static subjects beyond. When we paint an image another type of physicality occurs. When we paint an image either from reality, “En plein air” , or even if we are painting from a photograph, thus being twice removed, we have a psychological closeness to the subject. This is caused by the intense concentration required to capture the light that is being focused on our retinas and translated into an image by our brains. This then is being interpreted again on the canvas by our talent and dexterity. That is a trans-formative process, as was the taking of the photograph. These processes are a important aspect of Viviana’s investigation.

During and following the Industrial Revolution it became popular for the industrial nations to host huge expos that showed off their prowess and industrial might to their citizens and to the world. It was during the 1889 Paris International Exposition that The Gallery of Machines was inaugurated, and opened to the public. Another huge success of this world fair was the still world-famous Eiffel Tower that had almost 2 million visitors during the term of the expo. Yet, like our memories these edifices have either been lost to time, or have changed into modern memories.  Such is the case of the Eiffel Tower, which even for those of us who have never visited it physically has transformed and this is the theme that persists throughout the works of Ms. Zargon. The transformation of memory, of place and time, of cities and of the building that have defined them, and the people who once inhabited them.

There are ghosts. You can see them by what you see and by what you do not see. What you do not see in the works in this exhibit are people. Every image is devoid of people, yet there are skeletons, and these skeletons are evidence of people past. The skeletons are those of buildings, and in the stark black and white paintings we can see the ghosts who once inhabited these skeletons, at least in our imaginations. It is also possible to sense the memories these places must hold of those people past. It is because of the history of these buildings that the living find them important, and it is because of this sentimentality that is persistent in us all that we have a desire to preserve history. The Archaeological Memory or the human need to know about our past is more than a desire for knowledge, it is an attempt to keep with us the familiar, and to live vicariously through those artifacts and edifices in those times past.

Useless Things

What do we do with those things we discard and leave to go to dust? Sometimes the objects that we have held in such high value in the past become our garbage, our “useless objects” in the present. Machines and tools that were once used to fabricate both the luxuries and the necessities of life become outmoded, and obsolete, and thus discarded. The buildings that housed these factories of our life’s blood become husks of a prosperous past. Yet more often than not in the memories of those humans who used those tools, and who worked in those factories, the memories of prosperity survive. This sentimentality drives an over powering need to preserve these places and things. One subject of the paintings of Viviana is a textile factory in Argentina, which has been long abandoned. It is the desire of some developers to revitalize this huge space by installing a large open stall market, common throughout Latin America. The people you might think would embrace this concept, but no,..they do not, they want the building preserved as it is and the memories of a prosperous past left intact, because you see, changing the function of this space would alter the memories of it forever!

Through the works of Viviana Zargon we are invited to reevaluate our own observations of memory and reality. The images force you to look closely first at the physical reality of the constructs of the artists, to see if they are real photos or real paintings, but this is a ploy, a psychological vortex that draws us in deeper. Once we are that close to the subjects we are at the event horizon and from that point on transformed ourselves into seeing via the artist’s eye the reality she wishes us to face. This is the reality of our own mortality and the mortality of all human constructs. I think that the deeper meaning behind this works is very existential and I think that if you look at these works with an open mind, you will leave this exhibit knowing a little more about your own reality and your own fragile existence, because in the end entropy determines all our futures.

Liliana and MIGUEL: A Love Story

The sun rises over Lima at about 6:27 am, but by that time the artist Miguel Lescano has been working in his studio for over an hour! Miguel is a very dedicated artist, who pushes the boundaries of what is intellectually and physically possible on a daily basis. The morning Brenda Ortiz Clarke of the Khipuz Team and myself went to see him at his studio, and home he had already been hours in the studio. He met us at the Metropolitano station and conducted us to the Taller Cono Norte. The district it is located in is commonly referred to as Cono Norte, and thus the choice for the name of the Taller. The name of the district was changed in 1962 to San Martin de Porres upon the canonization of that saint by the Vatican.

Miguel Lescano is a Peruvian Artist who has an extensive exhibition and performance record! He has taken part in group and solo shows in Germany, Argentina, Columbia,Ecuador, Spain and the United States. As an International Artist he is recognized by his peers and the Contemporary art world as one of this country’s foremost contributors to the Contemporary Art scene.

The Taller Cono Norte was established by Miguel and his wife Liliana Avalos as a working and teaching studio. They offer in house residencies for artists who want to come, stay and make use of the facilities and expertise they offer. Liliana is herself a very accomplished and well-known artist on par with her husband. Her works in print and paint have also gained international acclaim! Together this team functions like the super hero teams, Miguel sometimes uses as subjects in his some of his works. The Talle Cono Norte has had artists from all over the world such as, Brigit Kramer of Germany, Sylvain Malet of France, and Federico Fernandez of Spain and numerous South American artists come to work in the studios, and make serigraphs. As a working studio and home to artists the Taller serves as an example of what is possible with initiative and drive!

It has long been the tradition of Fine Art Printshops all over the world to retain one of the Artists Proofs, or Bon a’ Tirer’s as a shop print. Miguel has a collection of numerous prints from a large group of artists in various styles.The Bon a’ Tirer is the first impression which is fully acceptable to the artist and the printer. This impression serves as the standard of quality to which each impression is compared. It is printed on the same paper as the edition and is inscribed by the artist “Bon a’ Tirer” to authorize printing of the edition. Usually it becomes the property of the master printer at the end of the run. Bon a Tirer Proofs are distinguished some times by the abbreviation BAT followed by the number such as BAT 1/3 for example. The edition that follows is numbered according to the size of the edition, such as: 1/20, 2/20, 3/20 for an edition of 20. The greater the denominator the larger the edition, and this can devalue the work if huge editions are pulled.

The Taller Cono Norte specializes in serigraphy. Serigraphy, also known as screen printing, is one of the four main traditional techniques of printing available to the artist. The other three are relief, intaglio, and planography (lithography). Relief print making is done from a raised image on a surface such as wood block printing; intaglio, from a recessed image in a surface such as etchings or engravings and planography from a grease-water relation on a surface such as lithography. Relief, intaglio and planography all print from a surface. Serigraphy prints through a surface. It is a stencil process. In serigraphy’s simplest form a fine screen is stretched tautly and attached to a frame. The non-printing areas of the screen mesh are blocked out with a glue-like substance, leaving the printing areas open and clear. The frame is then laid flat on a table and attached on one side by means of hinges. The screen may now be raised and lowered. Printing is accomplished by raising the screen positioning a sheet of paper on the table beneath, and lowering the screen on to it. A bead of ink is poured along one edge of the screen-mesh and pulled across the face of the screen by means of a squeegee, forcing the ink through the open areas of the mesh and depositing it on the paper underneath. The screen is now raised, the paper removed another sheet inserted and printed.

Brenda and Miguel viewing Artists works

Once the determined number of sheets has been printed, the screen is cleaned of ink and block out and becomes ready for use again. A serigraph is usually built up of several applications of color and for each application the described procedure is repeated. These printing processes are quite old, dating back hundreds of years. Serigraphy first appeared in its recognizable form in China during the Song Dynasty years of 960-1279 CE. Asian countries such as Japan would later adopt this method of printing and advance the craft using it in conjunction with block printing and other processes. All commercial printing that we see today is done using the process called lithography. For the art buyer, distinguishing between an original serigraph and a four-color reproduction is of utmost importance.

To fully appreciate the meaning of the term “original serigraph”, it is important to understand just how one is produced. This is where your experience at a Taller such as[+ Taller Cono Norte+] can be of the uttermost importance. Under the guidance of artists Liliana Avalos, and Miguel Lescano even the most inexperienced creatively inclined person can deliver an end product of exquisite beauty. So, whether or not you are a veteran artist with years of experience or a novice who wants to try something new, or even a construction-worker or housewife with an urge to create, then a visit to the Taller Cono Norte, may be just the experience you need! Liliana and Miguel have lived a true love story. This is not a story of love unrequited, but one of a passionate love of art and creativity and you are invited to be part of the tale!

Myth-Guided Youth: The Art of Rodrigo Tafur

Art springs from many sources and the inspiration for the artists to create may be as varied as the choices available to us all as we progress through life. Each small decision can have dramatic effects on future events. Art parallels life in this respect. I was once told by a wise mentor that I lacked the ability to articulate about my work, and that to be able to speak of one’s art intellectually was as important as the work. He told me I should read, and search out the knowledge that I lacked. He didn’t know it and neither did I but he was sending me on a Hero’s Journey that has continued to this day. I will be grateful to John Greer for that advice, because I have never stopped making art, or reading!

One of the discoveries I made on my journey has caused me to cross paths with numerous other artists who have ventured on the same trek. My interest in Anthropology and Archaeology as sources of inspiration and for personal curiosity led me to read the writings of Joseph Campbell. This extraordinary American has influenced the lives of many with his profound understanding of humanity through his writings on comparative mythology and religion. He has opened doors for many in the creative field where no doors previously existed.

The walls of the studio I entered where hung with large paintings, and the floors and tables were also covered in huge canvasses of red. As I slowly took in this collection of works I realized the monumental scale of the project this young artist, whose studio I was in, had taken on. It is appropriate to call these works monumental, not so much because of the size of the works as much as because of the scale of the concepts they elicit. This was my first time in the studio of Rodrigo Tafur, and I knew then during that brief visit that I would return. Joseph Campbell had published, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces “ in 1949, and for some reason on this first visit to Rodrigo’s studio, this book, crossed my mind.

Rodrigo Tafur was born in Arequipa in 1990. Twenty-four years later he graduated from the Faculty de Arte, of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Lima, Peru. He has won some acclaim from his peers being awarded the Premio Adolfo Winternitz 2013 – Facultad de Arte PUCP and Primer Puesto Academico (promoción 2014) Premio Adolfo Winternitz. Facultad de Arte PUCP. He did not come by these awards easily because at the start he struggled as many do at his age with the distractions youth offers. He rebelled somewhat against the structured life of the student until he realized through his own frustration that he must work to achieve his goals and that unless he applied himself he would not succeed as an artist. He credits his father with much of this success as it was his father who instilled in him the importance of hard work in order to succeed.

Rodrigo is a self-claimed workaholic and the evidence is all about his studio. He doesn’t work on a single painting until it is completed but works on up to six at a time. This is dictated not only by his work ethic, but by the process he has chosen to realize his works. Each painting starts from a base, or a ground color and is then built up through countless applications of very thin layers of pigment to create the illusion of depth. On the large red paintings ghostly figures emerge from and blend into the background. They are faceless, and nameless, evoking mythological heroes. These are nameless heroes of Joseph Campbell’s world view, a view that has also influenced the works of Rodrigo Tafur.

Like me, Rodrigo discovered Campbell while in college, and has drawn inspiration from his books since. He has gone on his own “Hero’s Journey”, and he has slain his own personal adversaries. He explained it to me something like this: We all have our enemies, we all have our demons to conquer, yet they may not be real foes or monsters, but something more personal. There are trials we must complete, as the mythical hero’s had to. These trials may be as simple as completing a huge canvas, or they may be complex and personal, or they may be as simple as a child crossing the street for the first time. Everything we do is part of the journey of life and we must embrace these tasks and approach them as a warrior and succeed.

I am looking forward to seeing the immense amount of work being done by Rodrigo completed and hung on their walls of Centro Colich in January, 2016. He has invited us to come and be part of his journey and I for one am going to take him up on this adventure! Khipuz will cover the opening of this exhibit to be sure. So, you will hear more here and I am also sure from other media and magazines about this emerging artist of the Peruvian Contemporary Art-scape!

A Peruvian Artist in France: Nicole Rafael

Nicole Rafael has a history of art in her family. This young Peruvian artist has been influenced by many events and people in her life. We all of course are the culmination of our lives encounters, and our decisions, and Nicole is not any different in that respect. Yet, her life has been marked and she has not allowed opportunity to pass her by.

 

Frédéric Bazille was born December 6, 1841, in Montpellier, France. He soon left school to pursue art. It was during these formative years that he met fellow painters Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley, who joined him in founding the Impressionist movement of the late 19th century. Frédéric Bazille was raised in a wealthy family in the South of France and left home in the early 1860s to study medicine in Paris. But his passion for painting overcame the obligation he felt to pursue a proper vocation and, much to his parents’ chagrin, he soon left school to pursue art. It was during these formative years that he met fellow painters Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley, who would join Bazille in founding the revolutionary Impressionist movement of the late 19th century.

Thanks to his family’s wealth, Frédéric Bazille had a more spacious apartment and studio than most of his artist friends and even supported some of them early in their careers, including Monet and Renoir. His home in the Batignolles neighborhood in Paris became a headquarters for the Impressionists; hence the movement was first called the “Batignolles School.” Bazille’s 1870 work ,“The Artist’s Studio”, in the Rue de la Condamine showing Renoir, journalist and critic mile Zola, Monet, Douard Manet, Bazille, and Edmond Maitre in Bazille’s studio exemplifies this period.

These painters were influenced by a number of historic events that changed the way they painted including developments in our understanding of light. For the Impressionist light was paramount and the light of Southern France on the Mediterranean coast was crisp and clear. In this atmosphere of clarity of color a movement developed that would impact all artists who followed.

Nicole Rapfael Cosar was born in Lima Peru where she lived until she moved to Chile at age 18 to attend University. She has a background in the creative arts that is part of her family history. Her mother acted on stage and Nicole can recall vague young memories of attending plays and seeing her mother perform on stage. Her Uncle too has been a force in her creative development, as he has helped and advised her in her career and life decisions. He too is a professional painter in Peru! Nicole told me, “I began painting at 8 years old. I was in a small school of “Bellas Artes”. My first teacher names Marita, she was young and really good teacher, she taught me all about drawing, colors and composition.” Nicole was fortunate to have the support of her family and Uncle during her formative years.

 

Nicole Rafael at an opening

Today Nicole is living in that city of the Impressionist, in Southern France, Montpellier. The crisp air now impacts her works which show a vibrancy of color that is steeped in the art history of her new-found home and in her native Peru. She has exhibited in ,Paris, Marseille, Montpellier, Vic Sur Cere, Nantes, Le Cres, and Tour. Her goals reflect her spirit and she dreams one day of showing her work in Florence, the cradle of Modern Art. Yet another dream of Nicole’s is to return to her native Peru and exhibit her paintings here, because she has never shown her work in her home country!

 

Nicole at work on some body art for a show.

At University she studied Architecture and Interior Design, and only started painting seriously when she moved to Europe. She has now lived in Montpellier for four years, and is developing a style based on her interests in anthropology and history. Nicole conveyed her sentiments to me, “I always had a preference with the symbols and complementary colors. I wanted to give a meaning to my paintings, to explain them and give them a value. I started to study anthropology pictorial and universal history. That’s how I became interested in the symbols of all the tribes around the world. I started to research the meaning of images and forms and the meaning of the colors.”

 

Nicole Rafael advert for an exhibition.

Like all expats, Nicole does miss her native home and she expressed this to me saying, “I miss my family, my house (the memories of my life in there), the language (to be free to talk and see that the people understand me all the things that I said jajajajajaja :) ….), Lima my city, the beach (pacific ocean). And of course the food.”
Where will we find Nicole in ten years? Maybe in Peru if we are lucky because she seems to have a way of realizing her dreams and this is how she sees herself in ten years. “I want to have a gallery of Art and teach Art to the children, show and teach them to express them self with the colors. it’s a beautiful world, that you can make what you want and show your feelings with a brush. In the simplicity you find beauty. Art it’s like that, simple and beautiful.

Epilogue Thank you note from the Publisher

This year has been a trial of sorts and it has not always been easy. There have been a number of times when I decided I had had enough and was going to give up on Khipuz Magazine, but then something would happen that would revitalize me! Often that was something from you, our readers, or more often from one of the artists, or galleries in Lima that gave me the courage to continue.

In the coming year I hope to expand with the help of a number of new contributors into other languages. I am looking forward to these new writers publishing articles in Spanish, German, and even Quechua! This will be very exciting! We always have our doors open for new talent and if you would like to write about art and culture and publish your work with us, just in get in touch at [email protected].

The main goal of Khipuz is to publish the Contemporary Art and Culture of Peru to a wider audience and to bring awareness to the global community of the wonderful strides forward that the Arts community of Peru is making in the 21th Century. We invite you along with us and with your support and readership we can achieve great things for the arts of Peru!

Please share our articles via Facebook, and other Media so that together we can all promote the fantastic works of Peruvians!

Sincerely, Gerard J. Kelly

Publisher, and Owner of Khipuz Magazine

 


Khipuz: The Best of 2015

Selected Editors picks of some of the best articles published this year to share with our readers and fans.

  • Author: Kuzo
  • Published: 2015-11-23 02:05:19
  • Words: 14073
Khipuz: The Best of 2015 Khipuz: The Best of 2015