Alfredo Müller / Esmeralda Mendez
Vírgenes del Guapay / Gélida subsistencia
This art exhibit brings together two collections, Virgenes del Guapay (Virgins from Guapay) from the painter Alfredo Müller and Gelida subsistencia (Frozen Existence), by the sculptor Esmeralda Mendez.
ESMERALDA MENDEZ. Oruro, 1987. Ms. Mendez studied at the Fine Arts Institute of Oruro (2011) and minored in sculpture. In 2016 she won the Grand Prize of the Pedro Domingo Murillo National Contest in La Paz; first place in Sculpture at the National Contest Villa San Felipe de Austria, in Oruro and first honorable mention at the 14 de Septiembre National Contest in Cochabamba. In 2013, she won the Grand Prize for a commission to create a monument to Domitila Chungara, in Cochabamba. She teaches at the Camilangel SRL Monumental Sculpture Workshop since 2008. Her career spans 10 years and has been commissioned over 20 works in Oruro, La Paz, Cochabamba, Sucre and Potosi. She participated in individual and collective exhibits in Bolivia and abroad.
Esmeralda Mendez’s work is generous in every way and her audience is constantly growing. Her trademark style in sculpture stands out from among her colleagues because of the attention it pays to the human form, the careful detail of the folds and delicacy of their faces. Her oeuvre covers a wide variety of themes and expresses passions and psychological traits.
For example, she touches on daily problems of contemporary society such as human trafficking and trade, alcoholism, child exploitation and abortion, all of these subjects expressed in bodies in movement. She works by modeling in clay. Esmeralda Mendez handles her tools with dexterity and, thus, her works have a high quality finish / Edgar Garcia Guzman, Sculptor
ALFREDO MÜLLER. Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1958. Self-taught painter, Mr. Müller began painting in oil during the 70s, when he studied Architecture in Alagoa, Brazil. He calls his style Neobaroque and has held over 50 individual exhibits in Bolivia and abroad since 1987. Most of his works are provocative in the context in which he lives and works. His oeuvre is extensive, and he classifies it as Cruceño Beobaroque, Chiquitanian Neobaroque, erotic art and sacred art. His painting reivindicates native indigenous and gay people. He was awarded the first prize in painting in the 12th Arts Biennial in Santa Cruz in 1999 and Honorable Mention in the 14 de Septiembre Art Contest in Cochabamba in 2000. He lives in Santa Cruz since 1998.
Vírgenes del Guapay
In “Vírgenes del Guapay” (Virgins from Guapay), Alfredo Müller enacts his mythic return to the maternal womb. It represents the chimera of Paititi, a dream that captivates and haunts him. The aforementioned virgins are amazons from the jungle who stun him with their sensual power and from their wild and aristocratic breasts he extracts the four elements necessary to create life: fire, water, air, earth.
While Troy is burning, Ithaca flourishes. This is the cabalistic formula that moves Müller’s work. The European Gothic, the American Sioux, punk and pop, Di Cavalcanti, Guzman de Rojas, Boticelli, Neomilleniarism, these are the influences that amazed him throughout his life and which come together, burn and fade in the brushwork of this new Ulysses who has traded his sword for a brush.
The siren’s song and the Cyclop’s gaze have remained in the past. The Amazonian Virgins ask him to make them eternal. Thus, from the telluric roots flows forth the strength of the race, and the paintings become purity and beauty. Müller, with the perfection of an alchemist, combines canvas, oil and linen to evoke, in clean and simple strokes, characters from a Tarot deck: the queen, the priestesses, the warriors and court maidens, denizens of the untamed Amazons, mystical symbols of spiritual greatness and ancestral courage of our culture.
Thus, for Müller, this exhibit is the death of the longing for an exotic past and the birth of a new thematic and technical approach that, while it remains a faithful reflection of a regional identity that is far removed from the numbing tradition, is set forth as a paradigm of universal values and coincidences. Alfredo Müller is the shaman who quickens and immortalizes our history / Edgar Lora, educator, cultural promoter, writer.