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The Recalled Childhood

By Florencia Battiti

Curatorial text (Paralizing perfectionism, Farrarons Fenoglio Gallery,  Bariloche)

The young artist from Misiones Andrés Paredes comes from a family of artists that, in the 90’s recovered the value of beauty and craftwork as a source of pleasure and creativity for visual arts, moving away from both the hyper-intellectualization of conceptualisms and the explicitly political art of the 70’s, and  the neo-expressionisms of the ‘80s. From that very stem, several sprout artists have emerged, presently vindicating manual work —which used to be disdained and linked exclusively to the female world— and exercising it unbiasedly, taking it to paroxysm and exasperation. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of this offspring —and of Paredes’s poetics in particular— is his rejection of (or rather, his indifference to) the “virtuosity vs concept” dichotomy, an antagonistic reasoning that seems to have contributed nothing too significant to art discussion or practice. Thus, with extreme freedom and feeding from the visual and emotional repertoire of his childhood in Apóstoles —butterflies, dragonflies and cicadas that metamorphose from maggots into beautiful insects, the wild and asphyxiating vegetation of Misiones rainforest, the microscopes of his father’s medical office, the afternoons of rest and plays with his sister— Paredes builds an iconography as dense as the rainforest itself, based on complex weaves of organic forms that he draws on paper, canvas or wood and then thoroughly cuts, giving them volume and sometimes modelling epoxy figures on them. The fretwork process —manually performed by Paredes— is both arduous and crucial for the final outcome of the work, since it is then when the artist defines the drawing traces and decides where to move with the cuttings, leaving certain unfretted spaces or not… As it often happens with contemporary artists, childhood images —in Andrés’s case, the rainforest weave that got caught in his eyes — are recalled again and again to be reinvented and placed on their works, to exercise what the etymology of the word “remember” indicates: “to once again pass through the heart”.