This year in ARTBO, Beatriz Esguerra presents the “Ibargüen” series of the artist and humanitarian Pedro Ruiz. Seeking to find that which unites Colombians as a people, Pedro Ruiz pays homage to the great athlete Caterine Ibargüen, who, in winning gold for Colombia at the Olympic Games in Rio, was able to bring together the entire country. The struggle over the peace agreement in Colombia, and the polarizing sides of “Yes” and “No,” moved Ruiz to pursue those themes which unite Colombians despite all that currently divides them. Through the unifying power of sport brought forth by the glory of Caterine, Ruiz found a source of inspiration and of unification. For what purpose does art serve if it is not to move us and inspire reflection?
Joining Pedro Ruiz will be the artists Max Steven Grossman, Mario Arroyave, Juan Carlos Rivero-Cintra, Armando Castro-Uribe, Carlos Alarcón, Carolina Convers and Elsa Zambrano.
Max Steven Grossman and Mario Arroyave express themselves through the use of “constructed photography,” bringing different images together in one coherent whole. Grossman explores issues of extinction through the creation of ideal and unattainable libraries that exist only in his imagination; to which no one would have access, but every being would want to possess. In turn, Mario Arroyave constructs abstract works composed of photographs captured within a defined period that are then compressed into one single image, thus playing upon our understanding of time.
Carlos Alarcón, Juan Carlos Rivero-Cintra and Armando Castro-Uribe comment upon the realities they see in the world they live in through meticulous drawings and paintings. Through portraits born out of graphite and needlework, Carlos Alarcón addresses the anxieties human beings deal with in their daily lives. Rivero-Cintra metaphorically escapes those anxieties expressed by Alarcón and creates images of mental displacements employing surrealist details. Finally, Armando Castro-Uribe brings attention to the nobleness found in Colombian agrarian life, especially considering all the difficulties it entails due to the armed conflict that these rural workers have had to bear, and survive, in their daily life. His images are brought to life using aerial compositions upon raw cardboard, consistent throughout his artistic practice.
Lastly, Carolina Convers combines collage and resin in her questioning of the role of the female in society, while Elsa Zambrano creates her own version of history’s masterpiece using popular objects that she has collected obsessively over time. Zambrano consistently explores themes relating to possessing the unattainable and that of commenting upon other’s works of art in her own work.