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Saturday, March 25, 2023

The “visitors”, by the notable Ernesto Deira

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Lawyer, artist of vast culture, according to Noé “the line in Deira is a fundamental element of his painting, his drawing is a way of being of his painting and his painting is a way of being of his drawing.”

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A Deira exhibition always generates new readings and, as he himself pointed out, “the only thing one can take away from an exhibition is a stimulus, a provocation…”. This thought comes to mind after visiting a small sample of the artist that is exhibited at Jacques Martínez in its current headquarters in San Isidro. Small in the sense that it is only made up of six etchings that he made in Madrid in 1974 in the Grupo Quince workshop, where works by Manolo Millares, Rafael Canogar, Antonio Saura and Lucio Muñoz were published, among other prestigious artists.

Based on the reading of “Pantaleon and the visitors” written by Mario Vargas Llosa in 1971, the Nobel Prize winner dedicated a prologue entitled “The excessive etchings of Ernesto Deira.” which also accompanies the exhibition with paragraphs that are exhibited together with the works, so that the visit is both visual and literary.

These etchings describe the “visitors” in the middle of the Amazon hired to satisfy the sexual needs of the soldiers of Captain Pantaleon Pantoja. Deira reveals the caricature of the situation through penis-shaped cannons, the sex in this gallery of images corresponds to a repressed, direct, crude, obscene, vulgar world.

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Graphic work, eminently political, in black and white. The fine line of his drawing does not save, with its sarcasm, criticism and satire the cheap military with fire power that constituted the Latin American dictatorships.

On December 7, 2022, on the occasion of the inauguration of this exhibition, Vargas Llosa sent a comment about these engravings from Madrid: among these lines we highlight “Deira has not illustrated the stories of Captain Pantaleón Pantoja, but has taken the perspective of its history to model a world of its own. His prints are as original and diverse as the story I wrote. I am glad, despite having spent so many years since I saw how Deira had used the book, that the engravings have been affirming their independence and autonomy.

Melisa Redondo is the curator of these etchings that belong to the gallery’s collection, now under the direction of Clara Martínez, daughter of its founder, and that have been in its drawers for 50 years, a time when engraving was a true boom in our country. (Roque Sáenz Peña 267, San Isidro. Monday to Saturday from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.).

Source: Ambito

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