I remember that one of my favorite things to do as a little kid was to grab a paintbrush and fill a blank paper with watercolors; back then, I was too small to understand the wonders people could do with palettes, pencils, brushes, and paints. Later on, life introduced me to a few names you’ve probably heard too: Picasso, Monet, Goya, and so many more genius artists. However, we’re not going to talk about them today; it’s National Plastic Artist Day, and I want to remind you of the masters of creativity that Venezuela has raised.
The story of this day begins with Armando Reverón, a painter and sculptor born in Caracas, Venezuela on May 10th, 1889; and in case you haven’t guessed yet, the National Plastic Artist Day is celebrated in his honor. Reverón was one of the most important artists of the 20th century in Latin America. And 53 years after his death, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City (MoMA) dedicated a retrospective exhibition to him. It was the first one to a Venezuelan artist and the fourth one to a Latin American.
The colors of Venezuela have reached all over of the world thanks to the talented plastic artists that we have. One of them is Marisol Escobar, who brought the Pop Art in the 1960’s inspired by Warhol and Lichtenstein works; she focused all her attention on the human figure, seen as a manifestation of loneliness. Also to be highlighted is Jesús Soto, who moved from Ciudad Bolívar to Caracas to pursue the art that was calling him; he gave us his kinetic works of art that let the public be one with the piece. Soto also did wonders as the Esfera de Caracas and the Foyer ceiling at Teresa Carreño Cultural Complex.
The Engineering school Mural at the Central University of Venezuela and the Espejo Solar at Simón Bolívar University were made by Alejandro Otero, a painter of geometric abstraction and sculptor, and a pioneer of modern art in Venezuela. Carlos Cruz-Diez has taken his colors, kinetic and op art with him all over the planet, from the Monumento al Sol Naciente in Barquisimeto to the Fisicromía para Madrid in Madrid, Spain. And with the art exhibition Dynamo in Paris, Cruz-Diez is still making our lives bright and colorful.
Our city does not escape from art; in the corner where you less expect it, you’ll find a work of art that could blow your mind. Armando Villalón, María Fabiana Zapata, Antonio Montes de Oca, Carlos Vallenilla, Bernardo Nieves and Manuel Brito are just some of the many plastic artists from our beloved Barquisimeto. Each one has their unique way to express themselves, some by paintings and some with sculptures, but all talented and united by their love for art.
Zapata created a space to welcome young artists to this magical world, called Materia PAC, where we can meet the future of Barquisimeto’s art. The works of Villalón, Vallenilla and Montes de Oca have traveled all the way to the galleries of The United States, taking over cities like Miami and New York, and became highly desired by the American public. The art of Bernardo Nieves was exhibited in the World Art Dubai, a world-class gallery part of Dubai’s Art Season. These plastics artists come from our little and beautiful Barquisimeto, but the great big world doesn’t scare them.
The art movement in the city of Barquisimeto keeps growing. There are galleries, exhibitions, and new artists you can discover every day! Creativity takes courage, and our local plastic artists are, without a doubt, the bravest. From Yo Amo Barquisimeto we wish them a happy National Plastic Artist Day! We will never stop celebrating the people who continue to make us believe in art.
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