A portrait is a figure representing a person. Portrait can also mean the description of its figure or character, that is, of the physical or moral qualities of a person. It refers to the plastic expression of a person or imitation of it. The exhibition titled “Gente Magna” (Great People) is composed of three artists, the theme of which is portraiture. They are Yolanda Mesa, Nicholas Sperakis and Santiago Samper. These are portraits where the face and its expression predominate, that pretend to show the similarity, personality and even the mood of the person. For this reason, a portrait is not a mere reflection, but a composite image of the traits that identify it.
Portraits fulfill different functions. In portraits of leaders, in politics they are often used as a symbol of the state and are symptoms of a cult of personality. There is also the will to perpetuate the memory of a person and to create a permanent historical image.
Portraits of Worship
Yolanda Mesa (Medellín, 1953)
Mesa presents 57 works, in small and medium format. The sequence titled by the artist Portraits of Worship are realized by way of oil drawings on canvas. This is her latest creation, the result of a year of work and research. Says the artist who investigated and researched why humans create myths about portraits and the tendency to create icons, which become identifiable, admired, worshiped and even idolized by the crowds. Some of these characters have stood out for their histrionic ability, like movie stars such as Brad Pitt, Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor. Others for their charismatic power and power of mass influence, such as Mao, Putin and even Trump himself and so many other characters that are stuck in the collective memory. “In doing this research, I was very careful that each of these characters were admired and worshiped by the public, sometimes more locally, as is the case of Shakira, Carlos Vives, Messi and other times were more universal characters such as the case of Marilyn Monroe, Che, Mao and many others. But at last they are all characters of adoration”, affirms the artist. As for his particular work Portraits of Worship, the format of the works is elongated, and the portraits are worked at the bottom of the format, as a way of indicating that these portraits are embedded in our mind, in memory.
Symbolic urban portraits
Nicholas Sperakis (New York, 1944)
The work includes 21 portraits, entitled Urban Portraits, made in ink on paper, in small format and four in medium format. This series consists of several imaginary portraits based on memory and observation. They are frontal portraits and profile, intimate; some reflect meditations and many of these correspond to the times of convalescence. They impose dramatic figures in strokes of a very personal expressionist language. The quality of Sperakis’ drawing includes black lines that mark the space of a work and of thick and thin lines that give a lot of force to his drawings.
Santiago Samper (Milan, Italy, 1954)
Samper exhibits 30 recent works in mixed media, in which he uses watercolors and inks, some of them homemade.
It is a singular work in terms of what it means in the plastic investigation of the artist. Portraits inspired by his travels around the world and his studies and periods of stay in Germany and the United States. His creativity is a stimulus to his own creative adventure. The world of dreams, of the events that inspire and recreate them, does not limit the creative possibilities of the artist.
María Cristina Pignalosa
Bogotá, February 20, 2017.
CERO GALERIA – EXHIBITION: GENTE MAGNA (Great People)
From: Thursday 23 February 2017
ARTISTS: YOLANDA MESA – NICHOLAS SPERAKIS – SANTIAGO SAMPER
Curated by: María Cristina Pignalosa
Address : Calle 80 # 12 – 55
Phone : 3153610130 – 2177698