Archive for September, 2013

Adrián Portugal & Asunción ‘Ashuco’ Araujo – Las Vírgenes de la Cumbia

September 12, 2013
Adrián Portugal & Asunción 'Ashuco' Araujo

Adrián Portugal & Asunción ‘Ashuco’ Araujo

Adrián Portugal & Asunción 'Ashuco' Araujo

Adrián Portugal & Asunción ‘Ashuco’ Araujo

Adrián Portugal & Asunción 'Ashuco' Araujo

Adrián Portugal & Asunción ‘Ashuco’ Araujo

Adrián Portugal & Asunción 'Ashuco' Araujo

Adrián Portugal & Asunción ‘Ashuco’ Araujo

Vice Magazine recently featured on their website several photographs from a collaborative body of worked called Las Vírgenes de la Cumbia by photographer Adrián Portugal and the painter Ashuco. It features photographs of young female dancers who are a common feature of cumbia concerts in Peru that have then been painted over with florescent paint. This work was featured in the exhibit Selva Virgen Salvaje y Sensual that was shown last year in Lima. I’m glad to see some of these works online as I wasn’t able to see the show.

I’m not usually a fan of painted-on photographs but I think the technique here works with the subject matter of the pictures. Ashuco is a local painter from Iquitos who generally works with florescent paint which is commonly used in the decoration of bars and discos in Iquitos. Interestlingly, last year I came across another project involving a photographer and a local painter from the jungle region of Peru that also involves painted-on photographs, Cura Loca by Stephane Moiroux and Paolo Del Aguila Sajami.

Camilo Echavarria – Paisajes Ilustrados

September 5, 2013

Camilo Echavarria - Paisajes Ilustrados

Camilo Echavarria – Paisajes Ilustrados

Camilo Echavarria - Paisajes Ilustrados

Camilo Echavarria – Paisajes Ilustrados

Camilo Echavarria - Paisajes Ilustrados

Camilo Echavarria – Paisajes Ilustrados

Last year while traveling in Colombia, I was on a bus going from Medellin to Bogota a journey which like many in Colombia, seems short distance map-wise but turns out to be an all-day journey on twisting roads over a dense mountain landscape. As we ascended out of the Magdalena river valley the twin volcanos of Nevado Ruiz and Nevado Tolima were visible to the west. It seemed amazing that my eyes could be beholding 17,000 vertical feet in one scene, but there it was.

Camilo Echavarria’s series Paisajes Ilustrados (illustrated landscapes) documents the bewildering variety , complexity and sheer beauty of Colombia’s landscape. It also interrogates the idea landscape being a human construction both in terms of our modifications of the landscape but in also how we choose to represent it (I’m paraphrasing from the artist’s statement). I stared at the first image a good long time entranced, not realizing the impossibility of the view.  Echavarria subtly composites some, but not all, of the photographs to create views of (literally) impossible beauty, leading the viewer to question the idea of landscape itself.