Published on August 8th, 2013 | by admin
My Venezuela: Travel Tips from Modern Artist Camilo Barboza
Born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, in 1983, Camilo Barboza is a talented and accomplished artist, with a unique perspective on the artistic side of his hometown as well as the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.
In this exclusive interview with LatinFlyer.com, Barboza shares some of his recent work and recommends some of his favorite places to see art in both cities — providing excellent Venezuela travel tips in the process.
How do you describe the art scene in Maracaibo?
It’s a diverse, friendly scene, with strong traditions in illustration and painting in the artistic community. The events are varied — private galleries, cultural institutions and an international art fair that takes place in October.
What are must-see places and experiences for visitors in Maracaibo?
Maracaibo is known as La Tierra del Sol Amada (“the land of the beloved sun”), thanks to the poem by the famous marabino author Udón Pérez. You should take the tranvía and if you have the chance to go out onto the lake, it’s an incredible experience.
In terms of places for art, there is the Centro de Arte Lía Bermúdez, located downtown along the lakefront. It has daily activities. The Museo Contemporáneo de Zulia is an architectural monument, with beautiful gardens where art and tropical nature co-exist. Centro Bellas Artes has a theater and exhibit halls that are always being used. The Teatro Baralt, built in 1883, is where you can find the first Art Deco work in Venezuela, by the painter Antonio Angulo. They showed the first movies made in Venezuela in this theater.
I’m the co-founder of Al Borde, which is a space that aims to strengthen the dynamics of local contemporary art and build a bright with other spaces, both domestically and internationally.
In general, how would you describe the artistic scene in Venezuela as a nation?
Venezuela has a great geometric tradition, which blends with the work of young creatives. Now there are distinct spaces, independent exhibit halls that give the nation some fresh air and complement the already-established venues, which showcase collections by important artists.
Where do you like to see art in Caracas?
The Universidad Central de Venezuela, designed by the architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva, is a global icon of the modernist movement. Venues including the Centro de Arte los Galpones and the Centro Cultural Hacienda la Trinidad are oases for contemplating art and nature; here you’ll find Carmen Araujo Arte, a gallery that opened in 2010. Its principal goal is the study and promotion of emerging contemporary Venezuelan art. El Anexo is an art exhibition space oriented toward contemporary works in various media. The Sala Mendoza, an independent alternative space, is dedicated to promoting artistic practices of contemporary Venezuelan culture. You can also visit the Centro Cultural de Chaaco, a venue where art and culture converge, and where I’ll be participating in a project called “Zonas en relación/Tres lugares del arte contemporáneo” starting on August 16.
Does Venezuela’s political situation affect the art world?
It does have an effect. For example, the majority of art collectors have now left the country. And the strategy of the government is to only support sectors that are ideologically aligned with them. That’s the pequeña china.
Camilo Barboza studied architecture in the Universidad Rafael Urdaneta, while also developing workshops dedicated to painting, recordings, video art, sculpture and ensemble projects with various state institutions. He has staged individual and group exhibitions around Venezuela, and since 2010 has served as founder and co-director of the Al Borde project, a space for the exhibition and development of contemporary art in Maracaibo. That project recently won a grant from the Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, which supports cultural organizations in Latin America. Find out more on his Website (http://www.carmenaraujoarte.com/camilo-barboza/), and follow him on Twitter (@camilobarboza).
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