Konex platinum Award, 2002 and Konex Award 1992. Among his exhibitions the following can be highlighted: (2000) “Under the line of the horizon”, National Arts Fund (FNA); (1999) Fortabat Salon, MNBA; Parallel chants. Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona; Centro Cultural Luis Ángel Arango Library, Bogotá, Colombia; Mercosur Biennial of Art, Porto Alegre, Brasil. In (1997) “Another way of looking”, MNBA; Santa Mónica Center for Contemporary Art, Barcelona, Spain; (1996) American Sculptors, MAM; Museo de Arte Moderno, Sao Paulo, Brazil; MNBA, Patrimony acquisitions Exhibition, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Argentine Sculpture, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Chile, (1995) Ruth Benzacar art gallery, “”Art from Argentina, 1920-1994”, Fundación para las Artes, Centro Cultural Borges; (1994) XXII Sao Paulo International Art Biennial, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sculpture Municipal Award, Buenos Aires, Argentina; (1992) Harte-Pombo-Suarez III, Fundación Banco Patricios. He has received numerous prizes and awards.
Vision of art
1. Choose a work that represents you, describe it in relation to its format and materiality, its relation with time and space, its style and theme; detail its production process.
I choose the work named Exclusion (Exclusión), which won the Costantini prize, partially because it is quite well known through many reproductions and because it is permanently exposed, which favours its visibility.
It is an object-painting that relates the plane, which serves as support and background, to a sculptural figure which works in a similar way to a traditional high relief.
The train, represented truthfully in the background plane, presents at the centre of the work one of its closed doors that blocks the way to the figure which desperately tries to enter.
The caricature emphasises the situation and frames it within a parody, which makes the reading easier and eludes the danger of an exaggerated dramatization.
Social exclusion has been an exclusive subject in any recent social and political analysis. The pathetic phrase “those who are not with me have lost the train of history,” thrown into the air by an ex president, all but supported the almost apocalyptic destiny of the character. Even in my effort not to violate the limits imposed by the competition, I highlighted the dilemma between inclusion and exclusion as a plane that permeates all aspects of everyday life.
Regarding the way of looking at it, I would say that it is convenient to look at it directly from the front, to avoid the formal crossings derived from a lateral vision. The obviousness of the theme and of the visual solution employed, anchor any ridiculous interpretative license.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
Generally speaking, I would suggest that the spectator stands in front of the work with enough light.
Since they are clearly visual works, supported by a narrative structure that univocally directs the spectator’s interpretation, I attempt to harness freedom towards the multiplicity of possible interpretations. I find the widespread idea that “when the reader is born the author dies” very upsetting.
I use the title as an entrance point, as a guideline that determines the “tone" in which the work has been made, to direct the spectator’s gaze.
I can not offer the spectator anything other than what is seen, and even if I recognize that his subsequent reconstruction in memory differs from what he has seen, I try to harness variability as much as possible.
The moment in which the contemplation of a visual work gets consummated is unique and totalizing.
It is a vertical time, very different than the horizontal time related to the use of oral or written language.
There is a kind of untransferability between visual and textual languages. Their genesis is different. Visual language emerges from a pre-logical and pre-grammatical sedimentation, and the other one emerges from Reason and is unravelled in time. I suppose the concepts and ideas in the question are related to the language I do not use in my works.
3. In reference to your work and your position in the national and international art fields, what tradition do you recognize yourself in? Who are your contemporary referents? What artists of previous generations are of interest to you?
I recognize myself linked to the quattrocentistas for their flat (spianata) conception of space, in the juxtaposition of colours, as opposed to constructions by "values” (chiaroscuro).
I recognize my debt to local graphic artists from the River Plate (Rioplatenses) of the 40s, whose narrative structure organizes visual elements towards a direct and immediate communication (I am talking about Molina Campos, Medrano, Devoto, Agosti, Calé and others), and to classical artists who, knowingly or not, are inscribed into a great line of Latin American popular art, such as Gramajo Gutiérrez and Juan de Dios Mena.
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
From recent years I remember an exhibition by Sebastián Gordín at the Espacio Telefónica; Marcelo Pombo’s works I was lucky to admire in his studio, that constituted the exhibition that is still on in Los Angeles, called Props over there; and, not for a particular artwork but for the constantly creative work in his actions and for the design of his whole life as art, Roberto Jacoby.
5. What tendencies or groupings from common elements do you see in argentine art of the last ten or fifteen years?
During the last years it seems that a certain mechanism has crystallized. It is encouraged by institutions, foundations or groups of study and analysis that finance or get corporative sponsorship to carry out artistic projects with a strong emphasis on a well-tuned work of merchandising rather than on artistic quality.