Now in virtual format, the Bogotá-based gallery developed an immersive experience for the public to “visit” Economía del color (Color Economy) by the Colombian artist Luis Hernández Mellizo, and Songs for Fernanda, by Aldo Chaparro, born in Peru.


Economía del color (Color Economy) - Luis Hernández Mellizo (Bogotá, 1978)


About the show, Nicole Cartier comments:

In Hernández Mellizo's production, a constant lucidity prevails around the fact that the context in which an image is inserted determines the range of meanings that it can acquire. The photographs included in a store catalog do not pose any questions, but are built as a longing that, as observers, we passively receive: bright spaces invite us to occupy them, shiny objects to buy them. The advertising image promises us happiness from an act as simple as that of the acquisition, it convinces us that we will be successful if we have an apartment with 'Citrus punch' or 'Spring petals' color walls, if we sit in a chair with matching lamps and dog. They are carefully constructed images, loaded with a strong scenographic sense that invite us to become their protagonists.


In Color Economy, the artist appropriates these advertising photographs and patiently translates the falsely everyday scenes into oil. When these images undergo a material transformation - from digital to analog, from studio photography to still life on canvas - they lose their aspirational value: the glamour and status that consumption promises are illusory. Being deprived of color, those spaces originally so seductive to the eye become scenes that no longer invite to be inhabited; Instead, they seem to refer to the presence of a human being who is no longer, or perhaps never was. An empty chair, a frame without a canvas, a pet without an owner - each item loses its role in the consumption cycle where it was originally conceived. Paradoxically, this is when they enter a new cycle: that of the art market, where they become new objects of desire that promise status to their buyer. In this case, it is the artist who offers the public his own catalog of canvases destined to be hung on those walls ‘Discrete pink’ inside bright, clean houses - as taken from the catalog.

A final question seems to underlie the exhibition: to what extent are the objects we buy, the spaces we inhabit, the food we consume, a reflection of who we are as individuals, or as a society? What would they say about us in the future if only interior design magazines, home furnishings catalogs, or pictures of cupboards overflowing with packaged, canned, and patented food remained? The role played by the artist in these dynamics of merchandise production, of beautification of reality and of consolidation of aspirational models is questioned: he, as one more worker, offers a service and a product that he frees for market forces to do with this what they please.



Songs for Fernanda - Aldo Chaparro (Lima, 1965)

“I always thought that color was an innate knowledge that became more sophisticated with time and practice, but that was definitely not my case. For years, I tried to paint: I went from the figurative to the abstract many times; I stained, I made collages, I used texts, gold leaf, oil, acrylic, natural pigments, I left my racks in the sun, in the rain; I studied Titian, Rivera, Velázquez, Picasso, Mondrian, the Futurists, Modernists, Filmmakers etc. But my paintings had a mistake on their own axis: they always tried to talk about volume - if it wasn't a volume represented on the surface of the painting, it was about the volume of the painting itself. It was evident that my relationship with volume, the object of my activity as a sculptor, was an obstacle to interacting with color freely.


It was not until I returned from a trip to Morocco that, in a small town in the Atlas Mountains, I discovered boucherites, textiles that could be interpreted as poorly made, so much so that in the city no one sold them and were offended if they were asked about them. They are not badly done: they are the result of looser work, which is obviously part of improvisation, and that evident ease that broke with all the rules of composition and use of color was what marked me forever. When I returned to Mexico laden with boucherites, I dedicated myself to trying to understand them without much success, but it was there that the desire to solve this issue appeared by painting myself. We could say that the boucherites detonated in me a less cerebral and more Instinctive connection with myself: Now when I start a painting I have no idea where I’ll go and how I’ll get there.

Contrary to the rest of my work, which is much more technical, painting at this age is a way of introspection, connecting with that channel or force that we do not control, that constant source of emotions, images and feelings that we do not can be translated or mastered, and to which we can only hope that, at some point when we are distracted, take hold of us and use us as an instrument to materialize as color and shape. Perhaps the best way I have to explain them is music: each one of my paintings is a song that must be seen/heard waiting for its rhythm to reverberate empathetically in us.”

Aldo Chaparro