Much like Goya observing the sleep of reason, Juan Manuel Echavarría remains committed to exploring the tortured history of social injustice in his own country.
In 2006, the Colombian artist established the Fundación Puntos de Encuentro (FPDE) a non-profit organization devoted to exhibiting art-related projects that preserve the historical memory of war in his homeland. As part of his initiative Echavarria conducted a two-year project in which former combatants in Colombia’s wars confronted the terrible violence roiling their nation by exchanging weapons for a paintbrush and canvas to document their visions of the calamity.
The results are on view in "The War We Have Not Seen by Juan Manuel Echavarría," at the Frost Art Museum (10975 SW 17th St., Miami) featuring 17 paintings created by former enemies who have opened the cabinet of their interior demons for the sake of peace.
The arresting images were painted by men and women who belonged to paramilitary and guerrilla organizations, or to the Colombian Army. All were rank and file soldiers demobilized by decree of the government or, in some cases, deserters or wounded in combat. The pictures depict everything from the plunder of land to forced displacement, the role of drug traffickers in the fighting, and the painful presence of violence in Colombia during the many years when terror was a daily occurrence for its citizens.
The exhibit runs through July 1. Call 305-348-2890 or visit thefrost.fiu.edu.
Tue., March 13, 2012