My 5: Guayasamin

QUITO

Ecuadorian artist and icon Oswaldo Guayasamin was famous for his work depicting the poor and exploited people of Latin America.

¨For the children that death took while playing, for the men that weaken while working, for the poor that fail while loving, I will paint with the gun scream, with the thunder potency and with the eagerness of battle,¨ he was once quoted.

His work displayed in a Qutio gallery could have comprised a My 50, but here are five that stood out.

Titled: Tears of Blood

Titled: Potosi

Potosi is named after the Bolivian mine that was owned by the Spanish and worked by the Bolivians in the 16th century. In ¨Open Veins of Latin America,¨ author Eduardo Galeano wrote about how the mine used slave labor to bring billions of dollars to Spain, while the Bolivians worked for a pitiance and in awful conditions. At one point, the mine collapsed and scores died inside.

This powerful painting is overhead in the large domed atrium in the middle of the gallery. The mine´s workers are shown straining, struggling to get to the light, life.

Guayasamin died before Potosi could be completed. Could this unfinished work be a sign of the efforts still necessary for worker rights?

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2 responses to “My 5: Guayasamin

  1. Keep doing this My Five thing. I like it.

  2. Nice, I knew ‘Open Veins’ would be a good read for you! I am just catching up on some of your posts after being out of commisson for a while. It looks and sounds like you quite the time and makes me nostalgic for latin america. Your writing is great, it really takes me there, keep it up, it is a pleasure to read.

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