In 2018, Mexico and Colombia made the collective decision to celebrate their cultural similarities and affinities for one another through art.
Un Arte Propio: Convergencias entre Mexico y Colombia is an exhibit featuring 45 Colombian works of art and 45 Mexican ones.
Mexico and Colombia share rich cultural links and historical ties that have encouraged the development of unique but similar traditions in gastronomy, music, architecture, and literature.
Each country’s struggle with narcotrafficking and organized crime cannot be said to culturally bond the two countries, and it certainly wouldn’t be considered a source of pride for the Colombian or Mexican people. However, the common fight against drug production and its economic allure has bound the two countries historically in a way that is undeniable.
The common historical experiences of Mexicans and Colombians are detailed extraordinarily in the exhibition’s five themes:
- The European Experience
- Man and the Land
- From Surrealism to Magical Realism
- Towards an Abstraction of Befitting Art
- A New Figuration: the Body Transgressed
Each theme has its own historical or artistic significance that brings to life the fascinating commonalities between the artistic traditions in both countries, without neglecting the broader, shared experiences.
The exhibition will include the likes of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Luis Llanos, Débora Arango, Remedios Varo, and Andrés de Santa María, among others.
For Mexican and Colombian art enthusiasts, Muralism will be a key piece for this exhibition. The tradition has played an extremely important role in both countries’ artistic and political histories. Throughout the Mexican revolutionary period, Muralism served as an artistic engine for revolutionaries to communicate efficiently with the masses. Diego Rivera was probably best known for his murals – which planted seeds for the tradition to thrive in Mexico, Colombia, and throughout Latin America.
Juan Roberto Gonzáles, the Mexican ambassador to Colombia, spoke highly of the project to the Colombian newspaper El Espectador, remarking that it will encourage people in both countries to strengthen their knowledge of one another’s shared artistic heritage.
The exhibition will also contribute to Bogota’s reputation as an art capital in the region. Bogota is home to more than 100 galleries, and it hosts an annual art fair, called ArtBo, that easily rivals its regional competitors Zona Maco in Mexico City and SP Arte in Sao Paolo. The fair recently enjoyed its 14th showing this fall. It prides itself on accessibility and not sales – it started as a non-profit event and continues to wear that on its sleeve.
Un Arte Propio was made possible with the support the Mexican Agency of International Cooperation. It is being curated by Emma Cecilia García Krinsky and Christian Paddilla Peñuela. The works will be on exhibit in Bogota at the Miguel Urrutia Museum of Art in Bogota from December 7th until February 18th, 2019.