Hot! Contemporary art from Chile

Alvaro Oyarzún

Alvaro Oyarzún - cvontemporary art from Chile

Exuberance and a seemingly ceaseless energy are the hallmarks of Alvaro Oyarzún, whose principal interests lie in painting and drawing, but also encompass collage, modelling and bricolage.

A self-taught artist, lapses in technique are generally overshadowed by an infectious spirit of enquiry, curiosity and humour.

Alvaro Oyarzún

Oyarzún's prodigious output - particularly of drawing - is reflected in his characteristic hanging format of densely clustered works.

Executed on a riot of different supports (Oyarzún draws on almost anything that comes to hand) this visual clamour is echoed by the ponderous titles assigned to works and exhibition titles, such as Querámoslo o no estamos lejos de haber agotado todas las posibilidades (whether we like it or not, we're a long way from having exhausted all possibilities).

An intriguingly effervescent creative imagination, Oyarzún fits the 'outsider' artist bill, but is nevertheless very much a feature of Chile's burgeoning art scene.

South American art now


Pablo Ferrer

South American contemporary artists

Young Chilean painter Pablo Ferrer made his name creating epic canvases loaded with academic reference: both in a closely worked figuration, and ample quotation from the classical canon.

The twist, however, is that the protagonists of his sources are replaced with cheap children's toys, (as in his take on Rubens' The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippis (2002, left), engendering a string of association entirely at odds with the august aesthetic he emulates.

It's not by any means an especially novel approach, with artists such as Kehinde Wiley or William Daniels exploring related territory.

Pablo Ferrer - contemporary painting from Chile

Nevertheless, Ferrer's practice not only provides yet another angle on the perception of artistic inheritance, it also takes a far less characteristic approach to the theme of transformation currently pervading Chilean art.

Inverting the tendency to recast the quotidian as spectacle, Ferrer instead revises the grand gesture into something approaching bathos.

Latin American contemporary art: Pablo Ferrer

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