ARTitude is a platform dedicated to bringing Colombian Artists to the heart of Asia. ARTitude encourages their Artists to challenge and develop their techniques by inspiring them to evolve and deepen their work. ARTitude’s Colombian network of leading galleries, art schools and curators are a well of resources, with social media and on-ground personnel who give ARTitude insight into the most exciting and promising of the Colombian art world, as well as tapping into Medellín’s established and emerging Artists. ARTitude engages and nurtures Artists by supporting and enabling their vision and developing creative concepts together. ARTitude is delighted to support Colombian Artists who are already established in Colombia and have gained international prestige, as well as young aspiring Artists, who display a great deal of potential.
ARTitude is delighted to be affiliated with Club Rainbow, with 10% of all sales donated to Club Rainbow, a non-profit Singaporean charity organisation with a mission to support and empower children with chronic illnesses.
COLOMBIA MAGICAL REALISM
Colombia Magical Realism
The term “Magical Realism is defined, as what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe”. With this in mind it is not a strange phenomena that the term was established in the mystical, yet previously war zone, country of Colombia - “It’s a place where the bizarre shakes hands with the inexplicable on a daily basis.”
Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia’s most renowned and celebrated novelist and nobel prize winner, became famous for popularising the literary style known as “Realismo Magico” translated into “Magic Realism”. This wonderful new literature style that achieved unprecedented critical acclaim, uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary and realistic situations. Gabito, as he was affectionately known, spread the image of a mystical and enchanting country, that he, himself, considered “a source of insatiable creativity." He created a magical universe, uplifting and diverse yet completely unpredictable in a time where Colombia was plagued by drugs and violence.
Magical Realism isn't just used to define a literature movement but it beautifully encapsulates a bourgeoning art movement in Colombia. The emergence of visual arts in Colombia is overwhelming. Everywhere you look Magic Realism is running through the thriving urban cities and the quaint pueblo’s of Colombia’s extraordinary land. The new generation of artists are redefining the boundaries. Endless in their creative endeavours, they are pushing the limits beyond anything seen before and exploring new and exciting concepts.
Magical Realism In Visual Arts Can Be Found In Many Forms:
1. Extreme Realism: Brings extreme realism to the depiction of mundane subject matters.
2. Ordinary subjects portrayed in a magical light: Another aspect of Magical Realism in visual art reveals mystery and magical features into everyday reality. It employs various techniques that endow all things with a deeper meaning and reveal mysteries that entwine seamlessly with their surroundings.
3. Magical content: Magic Realism in visual arts often portrays the bizarre. The magical spirit, as to speak, reveals itself in a striking and in some cases bizarre manner with overly fantastic or mythical elements with a deeper more perplex meaning. This style of Magical Realism in visual arts is most closely associated with its literary counterpart. Where magical reality is the main focus with a smaller amount of detail anchored in every day truth.
4. Multiple Interpretations: Magic realists often allow the viewer to interpret the scene and thus various interpretations are often evident.
Artists are exploring new and exciting states of Magic Realism, which are achieved through the colours, shapes and the imagination of each of the exponents above.
History of Medellín
Art At The Forefront Of Social Change & Reform
Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia, often referred to as the “city of eternal spring”, was established in 1616, nearly 70 years after the first Spanish Conquistadors landed.
The expanding metropolis of Medellín, situated in a narrow valley has breathtaking views and packs the punch of a city twice its size. The city’s skyline, made up of high rise apartments and office buildings is set against a back drop of jagged peaks.
It was not until the beginning of 20th century, with the arrival of the railroad and the boom in coffee production, that Medellín’s economy really began to take off. However, during the 1980s entrepreneurship in Medellín began to show a dark side. The notorious Kingpin Pablo Escobar would go onto change the complexion and reputation of a great city and its people. The ever increasing demand of drugs from the USA and Europe created a spiral of fierce violence based on greed and corruption. Medellín was soon becoming the most dangerous city in the world and Magic Realism was being replaced by gun shots and blasting bombs. However, the Medellín spirit cannot be held down for long and with the death of Escobar in 1993, Medellín began to rise again with the slogan “Adelante, Sin Reversa’ translating as move forward without looking back. The city is shedding its dark past and is now remerging into a wonderfully diverse and culturally rich city.
Medellín is currently undergoing a major renovation, making it one of the most creative and inspiring cities in Latin America. Turmoil and bloodshed are being traded for reggaeton bars and restaurants.
A large number of young professionals from the fashion and tech industries, as well as young artists and architects are contributing to the creative landscape. Hybrid design stores, plush galleries and sophisticated show rooms are becoming a mainstream in Medellín. Art is fast becoming the lens of social change and reform.
It is Medellín’s thrilling atmosphere that is the secret ingredient to the magic of Colombia and their endless creativity. The people in Colombia are so great you will find yourself doubting them but it is these people, ‘Mi Gente’ which makes Colombia so magical and special. It is a truly extraordinary country with some of the most positive, rhythmic and creative people that you will ever meet. Colombia is truly unforgettable!
Art & Culture
Does Great Art & Culture Come from Social Upheaval?
In Italy for 30 years, under the Borgias, they witnessed warfare, terror, violence and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci and the Masters of the Renaissance Age. In Switzerland, they had 500 years of peace and brotherly love… what did they produce… the cuckoo clock? This begs the question does great art and culture come from social upheaval and turmoil? This is particularly relevant for Colombia and its artists… Ask what comes to mind when Colombia is mentioned and a spiral of negative thoughts race through ones mind. Drug cartels, guerrillas, civil war. No city has encapsulated that stereotype more than Medellín.
The arts have always told the fascinating story of civilisations and their struggles. Nothing recounts the tragic story of Colombia’s dark past and the struggles faced by her people than the thriving art scene. From the galleries, art fairs and striking street art – a whole new generation of talented yet fearless artists are building Medellín up as the epicentre of creativity in Latin America and putting it firmly on the art map.
Street Art & Grafitti Culture in Medellín
An Example Of The Wonders Of Urban Regeneration
From metro stations to working class communes, like comuna 13 Medellín is “painting itself alive” with projects that are giving public wall space back to its people in order to see a reflection of themselves and their story.
Comuna 13 is a particularly fascinating project as it was once the epicentre of Medellín’s extreme violence during the Narco wars. The commune has undergone a facelift with government funding. Street artists are creating vibrant and vivid murals along side the newly installed escalators. Comuna 13 is now a place of peace and beauty – a far cry from its violent past. However, there is a story underneath these seemingly sweet pineapple images… they represent dangerous grenades and the white handkerchiefs of peace held by elephants all relate back to Colombia’s violent past. The art is spectacular and flourishing – a clear sign of Medellín’s renewal.