Observations on some of the artists in the Daros Latinamerica Collection

My intention at this point is to start introducing a few of the artists represented in the Daros Latinamerica Collection to you. But what is the best way to go about it? If I were to apply politically democratic principles such as the equal-time rule for candidates in campaigns, we would still be sitting here in a couple of years, bored to death!

Owning the shortcomings

If each of the 120 artists in the collection I assembled were allotted an individual post, it would take 240 weeks or approximately four and a half years to present them all. While this may be a suitable scheme for filling the blog, on the whole it does seem a rather boring attempt. The issue of this blog, after all, is not to compile a comprehensive history of Latin American art from the last turn of the century and the decades leading up to it—although I could certainly supply such a compilation at a later point and in a different place should the interest arise…

From Belkis Ayón…

La familia, 1991, Colograph on paper, 244 x 139,5 cm, Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich, Photography: Peter Schälchli

By no means are those artists whom I will select somehow «better». I have never regarded the works that I collected as differing from each other in terms of quality; they are rather absolutely equivalent, regardless of their price tag. The works of artists deceased before the collection started will not be considered here because my primary concern is to impart the personal impressions gained from dealing with the artists and their works. Each encounter was different and specific. In some cases, it was not possible or not necessary to meet the artist more than a few times; with others, I had countless meetings. Sometimes, we kept a friendly, professional distance; at other times true friendships developed; and all intensities of relationships in between likewise occurred. Not everything in this world requires wordy explanations, so I will not have the same amount to say about all artists.

… to Humberto Vélez

Humberto Vélez, Performance “Los Caminos”, XIII Bienal de La Habana, 2019, Photography: Cristián Animat

At a later point, I will talk about the best way to approach artists and their works nowadays, about what seems relevant and useful in doing so. Right here, I want to share my very subjective perceptions with you, my thoughts and ideas rather than straight facts that you can look up elsewhere. I will moreover take care not to express any undue criticism, nor will I resort to exaggerated praise. I believe that it is not for the curator to criticize; the curator’s task is rather to accept the artist as she or he is.

I will proceed in more or less alphabetical order, with exceptions proving the rule, no offense intended: an artist with an initial C may well be dealt with at the end. Also, my account on the artists will be only one narrative appearing among other posts. After all, it is change that makes life interesting!

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