As the Artists Please at 'Como Queremos Vivir'

Upstairs, waiters serve champagne but it's okay to wear a T-shirt or sport your new tattoo, still in plastic wrap. The relaxed atmosphere mirrors the artwork: edgy, unfussy and daringly sincere.

 Photo by Haylee Magendans
Photo by Haylee Magendans

Situating these young artists in the Zero Room, Galeria Animal provides penthouse space to experiment amid elegant surroundings. True to its name, El Grupo Revista Daga (the Dagger Magazine Group) slices through artifice to expose sharply edged art. The collective's multimedia exhibition, Como Queremos Vivir (How we want to live), reveals radical forms and concepts linked in the artists’ commitment to unraveling the artistic process.

 Photo by Haylee Magendans
Photo by Haylee Magendans

Daga comprises more than ten interdisciplinary artists with interests ranging from design, photography and fashion to media and culture, among others. The exhibit aims to take the group's magazine content beyond the page into three-dimensional gallery space. Here, in a large white room lined with colorful displays, one contemplates how each creator's intentions emerge in the artistic process. Overall themes include observation and perspective, memory and transmutation, and capturing "hidden characters" or details beneath the surface.

A mystical triptych in the corner garners attention. On the outer panels, a tiger and a llama each sprout mountains from their spines; between them, a tree supports a pink elephant shouldering a treehouse. The elephant sings strange lullabies from its third eye to the nymph child below. Strung together by planetary debris, comets and stars, each of Oscar Squella's unnamed paintings evoke a unique world of surreal growth and creation on a background of sea foam green.

 Photo by Haylee Magendans
Photo by Haylee Magendans

Collages of the 1950s dream homes toy with natural and constructed landscapes. Bernardita Aris pays homage to retro advertising, design and architecture by combining colorful magazine clippings, vintage black-and-white photographs of idyllic houses and yards, mixed paper and actual paint samples. She focuses on pools, backyards, patios and scenery. Her single large-format work is kidney-shaped and wood-covered, pieced out of a million shades of neutral on shards of paint samples and glossy paper. Deconstructed and rearranged, her images subtly shift the viewer’s expectation from commercial fantasy to purely fantastic.

From Jorge Losse's nocturnal neon roses to Paloma Palominos' evocative nudes charted with body paint, photo displays focus on intimate details.

 Photo by Haylee Magendans
Photo by Haylee Magendans

On glass-topped draft tables, Daga generously provides four stacks of magazines -- all of its issues to date -- and everyone scrambles for a copy. Underneath the glass hide exciting, small-scale works, such as customized journals and hand-painted matrioshka nesting dolls with modern faces. Viewers also get a glimpse of original inspirations and sketches charting progress toward finished pieces.

Daga calls Como Queremos Vivir "an affirmation of the sublime, driving creative processes." The collective's mission statement is to treat art as "a constant activity in which the body of work is generated day by day without the importance of its possible display or notoriety." Notably, Daga’s aim is to include artists not dedicated in a professional or economic sense, but rather those who do it "simply for the habitual act of creation," to translate the sublime impulse into something remarkable.

Participating artists: Paloma Palomino, Jorge Losse, Sebastian Rodriguez, Ian Campbell, Oscar Squella, Gianna Salamanca, Tomas Ives, Ignacio Echeverria, Bernardita Aris, Alejandro Matamala.

Como Queremos Vivir
Closes May 14, 2011
Free Entry
Galeria Animal, Sala Cero
Alonso de Cordova 3105, Vitacura
Monday to Friday, 09:30 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday, 10:30 am to 2:00 pm
Metro: Vitacura
www.salacero.cl
www.edicionesdaga.com

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