Oswaldo Guayasamin

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January 27th 2014
Published: January 27th 2014
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Oswaldo Guayasamin is an extraordinary painter and sculptor from Ecuador. We had never heard of him prior to arriving in Otavalo. He was an ardently, politically controversial artist during his lifetime and we suspect that his unconventional politics played a major role in limiting his visibility in the West. The American government criticized his far-left leaning support of Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution and communism in general. They also strongly condemned an image he painted of a Nazi in a helmet labelled ‘CIA’. His unique and striking images are nearly omnipresent in Ecuador (very like Botero in Colombia): they adorn t-shirts, posters, mugs, ceramics, key rings, and many other items sold in the markets and gift shops. I purchased a t-shirt with a musical image and asked the lady who was this ‘Guayasamin’. She spoke no English but understand my question and gestured that he was Ecuador’s ‘biggest’ (an expanding arc of hands upward and outward) artist. Later that evening we read more about him online. Today we visited his former home and gallery on the eastern hillside overlooking Quito and also the rotunda structure he built on his property shortly before his death in 1999 to house his masterwork entitled The Chapel of Man. The Chapel is meant to document not only man's cruelty to man but also the potential for greatness within humanity. There is a wealth of anger and pain and outrage in his work. Defined in the art world as ‘expressionist’, his work reflects the pain and misery and violence that twentieth century many inflicts upon each other in civil wars, world wars, torture and concentration camps, torture and dictatorships. His house is an extraordinary building of openness: white walls, exposed beams, terracotta floor tiles, very large rooms filled with artwork and religious icons, extraordinary furniture and sculpture throughout. His studio remains with easels and painting platform and paints and brushes and trowels exposed. We toured this building with a Spanish-only speaking guide and about 40 other people in the group. As we couldn’t understand the guide’s talk, we just wandered among the paintings and sculptures and ‘discovered’ the wonderful and unique world of Oswaldo Guayasamin!

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29th March 2014

places to live in Quito
my husband and i are considering moving for Cuenca to Quito and having trouble finding real estates to find a apartment to rent are there any good sites that we see apartments and set up a date to see them, also if you any good infor on doctors that speak english would be very helpful. Thank you
2nd April 2014

Regret we are unable to advise.
We were only in Quite for a few days and did not investigate long term rental options there.

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