In the work of Bolivian artist Maria Zanutti/Alejandra Barbery, the magic holds even as the shapes and vibrant colors spin out of control—or is it precisely because they spin out of control?
There is something brutally honest about a piece like Sor Maria Jesús de Agreda: a nun reimagines her world to cast away boredom—she surrounds herself with shapes of all sizes and colors, and the general bah-bah-boom we get is reminiscent of the distorting mirrors in a fun house where nothing is as it seems. The piece also seems to look down on perfection because, after all, we’re just human. There is, however, somehow, order in the chaos that comes with humanity.
Nothing is as it seems
In both Sor Maria and Obispo, we’re in a dream that’s not really a dream.
La Plaza also blurs the limits between reality and imagination. Is this really the cathedral? Is this really a car? They are—and yet they aren’t. Truth is flexible. The shapes are more textured in that piece—drawing you in, making you wonder whether you’re awake or asleep.
They are—and yet they aren’t.
Round shapes, like tires, bring dynamism to the piece. It’s a city that runs and spins and makes you feel vibrant. My favorite painting is titled Mítico, with a majestic peacock that somehow brings you back thousands of year simply by the use of golden shades, along with thin lines and fat circles contained in quadrilaterals.
Maria Zanutti uses multitudes of quadrilaterals to create epic and moving tales, and SUR becomes an exquisite exercise in empathy for the viewer.