lovers view Fernando Botero as a great master on the art market but don't know
much about other Columbian artists, notably Fernando Maldonado, a painter,
drafstman and sculptor born in Bogota in 1962.
represented Colombia in the Hall Comparaisons
Paris, France (2008), or at the VI International Painting Biennial of Cuenca,
Ecuador (1994) and exhibited his works at the Highway Art Gallery and the
Chamber of Commerce in Medellin in 1995 and 1996, at the Kite Gallery in Bogota
and the Art Gallery Balboa in Panama in 1997, at the 12th International Art
Fair in Binningen (Switzerland), the Casa de la Cultura in Quito (Ecuador) in
2003, in the Alonso Art Gallery, the Square House and the House Gallery in
Bogota in 2004, 2008 and 2009 but still, he has not been rated at his true
value on the art market.
He also participated
in collective exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bogotá (2009 and
2008), Grand Palais in Paris at the Salon
Comparaisons (2008 and 2007); the Bogota Traveling Space Foundation (2007), the
Waiting Room Gallery (2003); the Gallery Artlounge, Zurich (8th International
Art Fair, Zurich, 2003); at the Gallery Emerio Dario Lunar, Maracaibo (2002), in
the Consulate General of Colombia in Miami (2001) and also at the Museo La Tertulia, Cali(2001), Call
Kunst Zürich (2001), Baires Cologne, Milan, Italy (2000); Gallery Wall (1999),
VI International Painting Biennial of Cuenca, Ecuador (1998-1999), Museum of
Contemporary Art in Bogotá (1984), the Museum of Contemporary Art Bogotá (1983)
and the Museo de Antioquia, Young Art Hall (1982).
have appeared on five covers of International Literature Collection The Conjurados and illustrated six
reprints of the journal Common Presence
while his work has received comments from Gonzalo Márquez Cristo, Jotamario
Arbelaez, Mauricio Contreras, Amparo Osorio, José Chalarca, Alonso Restrepo and
Maria Soledad Garcia.
painting at the University of his native town, the orientation of his work from
the beginning was marked by the dreamlike and surreal with a stage close to
fantastic art. Skepticism about the latest manifestations of modern art has
been a constant in his work, derived from existentialism of his thinking and
his interest in authors like Camus, Borges, Cioran, and shamanism of Carlos Castaneda and of course the magical
realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
For Maldonado ,
an image is above all the consequence of the one that precedes it and its
multiplication in time and space increases the sense of absurdity while
painting, based on reflecting individual
ideas, is a complex manner to act on the canvas.
this artist feels the need to view the history of art as a great fiction while
it seems essential for him to build a work through the medias and not from the
experiences of other people after choosing painting as an autonomous vehicle of
communication because it generates infinite universes.
does not view art as a kind of collective religion nor artists as spiritual
guides as he feels art is embalmed with much selfishness beside the fact that
painting requires knowledge and some
talent. To sum up his motives, he tries to translate the idea of intent with
humour and shows that he knows where he
stands in his immediate environment to offer pure consciousness in his works in
which the sacred exists without God and where everything seems magic. In fact
his paintings exhale a form of psychanalysis, like Lucian Freud or Balthus did
before him while he has himself been
exploring strange territories, sometime with a fish in a cage, levitating
figures or old truck suspended in mid
lucid criticism of the speculative turns in contemporary art ,
Maldonado has been surfing on the works of Mondrian, Miro, Pollock or Paul Klee which are secretely hidden in his paintings on carpets,
curtains or napkins in order to pay homage to these artists.
secret in his physical and metaphysical paintings as he is always leaning
towards mystery in showing either tenderness or solitude, which the spectator
cannot seize right away. In fact, his works have multiple dimensions exuding
dreams like with a kid surrounded with floating toys, perhaps because the world
is itself strange as if the artist wanted to be a sorcerer or a creator trying
his escape his obessions.
mysticism, Maldonado gambles with signs in a surrealistic way simply because
life is like a dream though his scenes seem simple at first sight but there is
a constant link in his works as if he has endeacoured to unravel an enigmatic book
telling the stories of defenceless and lost people in the face of their dull existence.
In fact, the
artist has been battling with emptiness after suffering two fits of mental
depression at the age of 13 when he lost his memory and felt nothing for a
while. He then went four times in an operating room and since then he has understood the meaning of a
black hole in the contemplation of a picture of a distant galaxy taken by the
Hubble telescope which showed that the universe is largely filled with
blackness or obscure forces. Thus, doing art was like flirting with the void
with little time left before him though he is conscious that a subject has no
longer any importance compared with everything that can be captured.