February 24, 2024 -
April 13, 2024
La Balsa Arte Bogotá
Panoramic. In search of the noble salvage, La Balsa Arte Bogotá

Wonder: this is Diego Arango's view of the physical and imaginary world he inhabits. From the beloved Mediterranean, to the jungles populated by tigers and samanes of America, the artist recreates those worlds that define his identity.

The myth of the good man, pristine in his natural state, the ideal figure of Jean Jacques Rousseau, was thought of as that man in a primitive condition, alien to any political and social structure, essentially pure. It was the ideal of Jean Jacques Rousseau, but his idealization comes from the Greeks. In him, as in the archdeacons, the survival instinct, sensitivity, his capacity for wonder and his compassion are characteristic. He is kind, though his kindness lies not in his ethics, but in his child-like innocence. That man, historically idealized, was doomed to disappear in view of the fact that sooner or later his nature would be radically altered by social corruption.

In Arango's paintings these primitive creatures appear: the naked bodies, animals, the jaguar and the frog and the starry skies. With equal admiration, the artist represents the ships that have traveled the waters of the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of humanity. It is that diaphanous look that evokes the myth of a clean and pure world. However, not all is well in paradise: the snake, the archetypal representation of original sin and evil, coils around a tree; the death of the bull reveals human conflict and evil.

The pictorial search in Arango's work reveals the love for the natural state of simple things and their inevitable transformation. His painting is not innocent because it is deliberate. He decides to bring the form to its simplest state. He plays with color, matter, scale, proportions, and directions. Perhaps it is the very nature of painting that allows Arango to reveal and preserve his “natural state.”

The noble savage is a metaphor of hope, because it is not too late for man to remember his origins and recover the ideals of a better world, one in which the clear and innocent gaze recreates the world in all its splendor.

Ana Patricia Gómez - Director.

Selected images

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If reviewed within the western historical canons, the work of Diego Arango has a clear influence on avant-garde movements of the 20th century such as surrealism, abstraction, cubism and primitivism. Regarding the latter, Arango highlights its simplicity, its transcendence in time and its reverence for form. It is important to emphasize that these European avant-gardes spread throughout Latin America, which not only generated a transformation and appropriation of these movements with a nationalist vision, but also a renewal and positioning of Latin American art at a global level. Arango was ...

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