Cuerpos Pintados is a unique project that marries the concerns of painting, performance art, documentation, and photography. In the last 25 years, more than 100 painters and countless models have participated in a rich interactive dialog exploring the potential of the body as both landscape and a three-dimensional canvas. The first 45 painters were from Chile, as the studio is located in Santiago: however, soon painters from all over South America, Europe and the United States wanted an opportunity to work collaboratively at Taller Cuerpos Pintados.
Roberto Edwards, born in 1937, is a Chilean photographer and entrepreneur. After partial studies of architecture, economics, and film, he began in the publishing business, producing numerous books and magazines. During the 1980’s he established Cuerpos Pintados and in 1991 the project was presented for the first time, with Edward’s photographs of nude bodies painted by 45 Chilean artists. The resulting exhibition traveled to 32 museums in Latin America and Europe. In 2003, he presented a new version of Cuerpos Pintados. This time, more than 100 visual artists, mainly from Latin America, participated in the project, as well as musicians who composed their scores with body sounds and photographers who documented the body in a wide variety of traditional cultures.
The photographs of Roberto Edwards have been exhibited in over 40 museums throughout the world and have intrigued, fascinated, and amazed viewers. They represent accurate records of an organic project that has endless variations and morphs into an amazingly productive exploration of the expressive power of the body. Watching Edwards photograph is like watching a drama unfold, but one that has no linear narrative. Initially, he directs actions, but invariably the models start to move and to strike a myriad of poses on their own which derive from an almost dance-like ritual. During the process he never corrects or changes the original concept, but uses tools like cropping, changing focus and compressing space through depth of field and f-stop selection. The photographer also has the cinematic equivalents of long shot, medium shot and close up at his disposal. Sometimes he builds images through multiple exposures and montaging.
The Museum of Art – DeLand would like to recognize the talent and achievements of Roberto Edwards and all the gifted artists who participated and collaborated in the Experimental Workshop of Cuerpos Pintados. This exhibition was organized and curated by Holden Luntz, Director of the Holden Luntz Gallery. His close association with Roberto Edwards and his work has ensured the success of this endeavor.
George S. Bolge
CEO, Museum of Art – DeLand, Florida