Though stylish Gallería Matthei sits on Santiago´s city outskirts, the striking spectacle of Eleomar Puente´s recent works exhibited in Historias en Mi Piel ("Stories in my skin") is well worth the journey.
Photo by Sofia Carvajal
The distinguished Cuban artist’s debut exhibit in Chile screams irony, cynicism and humor. Bold colors contrasted with baffling images render the close connection between fantasy and reality. Be it a giant omnipotent straw pig trying to be captured by a small demon-like man with a net (Cazador de Sueños-Dream Hunter: 2008) or a tiny man looking up aggressively from what appears to be a red fiery hell at a giant moth shaped microphone (The Oracle Says Me: 2008), each somewhat disturbing and extraordinarily detailed picture has a successful profound visual impact on its viewer.
Whether we understand the themes Puente is trying portray is unimportant because what we feel when looking at the images is enough to emotionally connect us to his reproductions.
“My art has been a great cocktail of modern life,” Puente affirms. “A reflection of where we live and feel beyond postmodernism. It’s a big world where humor and cynicism go hand in hand, characterized by man majestically in the name of love, who is capable of anything, be it dream or reality.”
The nine acrylic canvases, according to Puente, speak of worldwide topical issues: the longing for freedom, abuse of power, fear, hope and love--all reasons why the artist’s works are so globally accessible.
“The topics are of modern and deadly human life which cannot escape daily political, economical and social situations and behaviors that overlap in our time,” comments Puente on his canvasses.
If Puente’s strength is not to your liking, the elegant and softer images by Chilean artist, Tito Calderón, in the next room offer a different artistic approach: pencil on canvas.
This simple yet effective technique creates in each of his paintings a realistic interpretation of what Calderón has observed on his travels. Each scene is bustling with movement. Each human figure evokes potent emotions. His art holds no hidden symbolism--what you see is what you get.
“I paint from the critic and existentialist tower where there is a crack from where I observe with attention the goings and comings of life,” Calderón said.
If you do not like the sound of either of these expos you should still head to this street. A peaceful road with rows of green trees, Edwardian houses and tweeting birds; it is a breath of fresh air away from Santiago. To break up the roundtrip journey I relaxed in the tranquil garden of the nearby Starbucks--a strong recommendation!
The exhibition runs from November 35 to December 27.
From Metro Tobalaba take bus 405 or 405c to Alonso de Córdova 2843, Vitacura.
Alonso de Córdova 2843
Mondays – Fridays 10:00 – 19:30
Saturdays 10:00 – 14:00