Benito Quinquela Martín – His Impact on La Boca and Me!

My painting called “Tango” of La Boca.

As an artist, I often find my inspiration from the intricate connections between colors and patterns. I notice these aspects in the world around me; in architecture, the variety within landscapes, and the tones and quality of light. Too, I see a little piece of my native Argentina in the elements of my work. When I reflect on my development as an artist, I can clearly see how others have also left an indelible mark on me and contributed to my evolution over time. Over the next few months, I plan to highlight other artists who have inspired me or helped mold me. I hope you will enjoy learning about these wonderful artists.

To start, I will begin with an artist who made an impression on me way back when I was in art school in Buenos Aires. Benito Quinquela Martín, “a man who is a synonym for the neighborhood of La Boca” is known for his colorful depictions of ports, ships, and port life in his beloved neighborhood.

www.welcomeargentina.com/personas-y-personajes/benito-quinquela-martin/benito-quinquela-martin-c.jpg

Benito Quinquela Martín was so devoted to his neighborhood that, in the 30’s, he used the success he acquired there to begin giving back. In 1933, he donated land for a public school and later money to build a theatre – the Teatro de la Ribera – “a kindergarten and a breast milk center and, finally, a Pediatric Dentistry Hospital.” In the 50’s when La Boca began to decline, Martín infused his neighborhood with his artistic color and “created an outdoor art exhibition space devoted to artists and craftsmen. He recreated an old street filled with colorful conventillos on a stretch of a disused railway line. [T]his path was named Caminito after a popular tango written by Juan de Dios Filiberto.”

www.welcomeargentina.com/personas-y-personajes/benito-quinquela-martin/benito-quinquela-martin-d.jpg

My friends and I used to go to La Boca and sit in the street or in a park to take it all in and paint. We were in awe of the color!

Benito Quinquela Martín’s presence is still visible throughout the neighborhood of La Boca today – a vibrant place full of energy, music and street performances. And Martín’s bold palette surely impacted me!

La Caminito, La Boca © ilkerender/ Flickr

 

Los Reyes Magos

©Dora Ficher-Los Reyes Magos; Watercolor, pen and ink on watercolor paper. 8x8
©Dora Ficher-Los Reyes Magos; Watercolor, pen and ink on watercolor paper. 8×8

On January 6, most of the Hispanic world celebrates “El Dia De Reyes”, the Epiphany, remembering the day when the Three Wise Men following the star to Bethlehem, arrived bearing their treasured gifts for the Baby Jesus.

Even though it’s a Religious event, in Argentina, everyone celebrates it as more of a fun, gift giving holiday.

On the night, of January 5, before going to bed we used to put our shoes outside our bedroom door. We would also leave hay and water for the camels, and some cookies for Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar. We would leave the hay and the water near a door or a window left open so Los Reyes Magos can enter.

The next morning, we would wake up and had gifts next to our shoes. For us kids it was one of the most fun days of our summer vacation in Mar del Plata.

My cousins, my sisters and I would sleep up on the 3rd floor and try to stay awake waiting for the Reyes Magos. We would take turns looking out the window. Of course we would all fall asleep while waiting.

As we got older this is what we found in our shoes…

This is what was in our shoes when we got older.
This is what was in our shoes when we got older.
My sister Claudia and me in Mar del Plata. We were 6 and 8 yrs. old
My sister Claudia and me in Mar del Plata. We were 6 and 8 yrs. old
With my grandfather, sisters and cousins.
My grandfather on my mom’s side with my cousin’s, sisters and me. We would all wait for Los Reys Magos. I’m the oldest of 12 cousins. There were only 7 of us here, the other 5 were not born yet.

 

This work is part of my Hiraeth (meaning “homesickness”) series.

To read about it, click here and here .

 

An Art Journey from Argentina in Philadelphia

Two of my Encaustic pieces “1974” and “Reflection Too” were selected for the juried exhibit…

An Art Journey From Argentina to Philadelphia

If in the Philly area, stop by City Hall (2nd floor…the Mayor’s floor ). Exhibit will be up until Nov. 30th.

“An Art Journey from Argentina in Philadelphia” Nov. 1, 2012
“An Art Journey from Argentina in Philadelphia” Nov. 3, 2012

The cultural section of the Embassy of Argentina is pleased to announce the opening of “An Art Journey from Argentina in Philadelphia”, a juried art exhibition featuring a selection of artwork created by Argentine artists residing in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC, working in a variety of media and themes.

“An Art Journey from Argentina in Philadelphia” Nov. 1, 2012
“An Art Journey from Argentina in Philadelphia” Nov. 3, 2012
“An Art Journey from Argentina in Philadelphia” Nov. 3, 2012

“It is my hope that this event will be the first of many to promote the arts of Argentina in the city of Philadelphia,”notes Alfredo Ratinoff, Chief Curator for the Embassy of the Argentine Republic.

An Art Journey from Argentina in Philadelphia Nov. 1, 2012. Alfredo Ratinoff, Chief Curator for the Embassy of the Argentina in Washington DC.

 The exhibition, housed in display cases along the second floor of City Hall, is presented in partnership with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, and its opening is timed to coincide with the celebration of Argentine Week (Oct. 29 – Nov. 3).  The works will remain on display through November 30th.

“An Art Journey from Argentina in Philadelphia” Nov. 1, 2012

The story behind my two pieces:

“Reflection Too” is painted on an old shutter that I found at a local flea market. I collaged some “found” wood and metal pieces on to the wax.

This piece brings memories of  the Southern Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Argentina, which I have visited since I was a little girl. This shutter is a reflection of the water in that ocean. What happens to these shutters or doors when they live so close to the salty ocean water? I wanted them to look aged from the effects of the sun and the salt spray. I love to see all the interesting textures and faded colors caused by years of ocean side living.

“1974” is the year I graduated from Art School in Argentina. Collaged into this piece are many memories from those art school years. I included some drawings and writings from school as well as brochures from art exhibits.

Artists whose work is featured in the exhibition include:

Anibal H. Reimondez
Laura Tabakman
Dora Ficher
Felisa Federman
Roman Antopolsky
Rosana Azar
Paula Meninato
Emiliano Orestes Begnardi
Franco Lippi
Marcelo Novo
Miguel Pérez Lem