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  • Writer's pictureNatalia Allende

This week on The Woof! What is gained from fine art in our daily life?

A lot of people say that light fixtures are the jewel of the home, and I don't disagree. But to me it's more like the bijoux: for sure it completes the look and adds that incredible touch of interest to the composition. In previous The Woof! blog posts, lighting and light fixtures are presented as fundamental in any space. However, to me, the true jewel of the home is art. And having studied aesthetics--history and philosophy of art--I am most definitely biased. For me, good art grounds the soul and awakens the mind in fascinating ways.


My California-born husband and I have a 3-year Christmas holiday circuit that we've been able to follow well so far. One Christmas we travel to California to spend the holidays with his family, the next year, we fly down to Chile to spend it with mine, and the third is 100% ours to celebrate as we please. This week I'm writing the blog post from Santiago, Chile. We're just back from the countryside where my family owns a large farm, a vast arid land which my father transformed. A wasteland when he bought it 36 years ago, it is now a productive and innovative space whose crops and production methods many in his region have imitated. All of us converged there to celebrate Christmas in 95°F weather.


While in Chile, I've also had the fortune and pleasure of visiting the studios of some of the incredible artists from around the world that I work with to bring quality art-work to my clients' homes in the United States. Having the chance to see in person what they're working on and hear what moves them is a treat and brings one back down to some of the things that really matter. Something that struck me in these multiple conversations during these visits is their search for that essence that is not quite visible to the eye. There is a pursuit to find and reveal the structure that lives quietly at the center of everything and that makes itself present in a multitude of natural manifestations. In a world brimming with distractions, uncertainty and confusion, those among us who go deeper are finding that essence, the force that pervades all, the beauty in the resemblance of the micro and the macro, in nature and also in our faith systems.


First stop: a studio nestled in the foothills of the Andes. Felipe Oyarzún's art focuses on the essence of existence, the force that brings the universe into existence. A profoundly spiritual artist, his work expresses that essence via the simplest shapes, lines, dots, color. Geometrical and reminiscent of kinetic artists such as Victor Vasareli, his work is at times still and settling and at others gently bursting with energy. Below is the result of this succinct expression of that essence. Following that is the piece called "Let there be light" showing us that strong yet gentle force born out of darkness at the Creator's command. Force that expands in its first step of becoming the world we inhabit.




Second stop: the home and studio of Raúl Pizarro. A tiny space out of which flows a substantial collection of high-level art. Raúl uses his own friends from the street culture to express his faith in Christ as Savior. In a way similar to Caravaggio, he invites the lowliest seeming people to pose in his compositions in a desperate urge to wake us up and see the reality of the One who seeks out each and every one of us. The imagery is bound to shock until one understands what it is that he is trying to tell us, and then it becomes revelation.


The painting below is a depiction of Jesus' trial: the sacrificial lamb awaiting the verdict, Pontius Pilate appears making his judgement as he listens to the people. The man with the pig mask (where are there pigs in the Gospel?) is a high priest demanding that Jesus be crucified, while another one begs him to reconsider. The man with the serpent mask is Barrabas, happily observing his likely release, and the others are people in the crowd and from the Pilate's court, all of which are completely engrossed in the fleeting superficiality of the world, oblivious that they are part of the crucifixion of the Savior. As in the film The Matrix, the two black cats represent a glitch in the matrix. Pizarro believes that the times we are living are a glitch in the way the world should be working and things are off.



Third stop: the bright double-height studio of Guadalupe Valdés, where her monumental pieces are created. Guadalupe travels Chile and parts of Europe immersing herself in the natural world, finding a personal connection with the elements, and observing the manifestations of the evolution of geology and the journeys of natural elements throughout millennia. Collecting little stones she observes the same creases in them as in the mountains which they constitute. An amazing projection from the smallest patterns to the huge layers of mineral that make the mountainous regions she so loves to explore. Below is a bird's-eye view of the Alps in spring, also evocative of the tiny patterns of a single leaf. Following that is an image representing the Andes mountains and the spectacular strength they represent for all Chileans, present in every view and protecting us like a mother hen under her rocky wings.





Last stop, Ximena Velasco's studio in the heart of bohemian Santiago, Barrio Bellavista. Finding her inspiration in organic elements of nature, her work explores fractal proportions that repeat at different scales. She also uses her abstract compositions to explore color relations and architecture, studies from her early years before throwing herself into art. Below, is a piece in the works commissioned by a couple from the Washington, DC area through Natalia Allende Studio. This piece was inspired by a small scale collage Ximena made previously and uses different media to create textures, shapes and patterns, some clean and sharp, others grittier and translucent, pulling us into the heart of the organic world turned abstraction. The photo that follows that is an example of the ceramic work she is exploring these days, a group of much more neutral-toned volumetric versions of her paint work.




Visiting these four artists has breathed joy and awe into my stay in Chile and it truly feels like I explored some beautiful jewels that would enhance the look of any home. Specific pieces keep coming back to mind for what they represent and how they are capable of brining new light, hope and meaning to the world around them.

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4件のコメント

5つ星のうち0と評価されています。
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ゲスト
1月01日
5つ星のうち5と評価されています。

Beautiful blog!

いいね!
Natalia Allende
Natalia Allende
1月06日
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Thank you. 💓

いいね!

Laura Stohlman
Laura Stohlman
2023年12月29日
5つ星のうち5と評価されています。

Brilliant post, Natalia!

いいね!
Natalia Allende
Natalia Allende
1月06日
返信先

Thank you Laura! 💓

いいね!
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