‘Bear’ by Diego de la Rosa
Artist: Diego de la Rosa
Medium: Oil on panel
Dimensions: 6″ x 6″
Year of Creation: 2022
Artwork Will Ship From: Canada
About the Artwork:
“The painting ‘Bear’ is part of a collection titled ‘The Game of Animals’, which is a series of oil paintings that explore how the failure of Venezuelan politics has driven its citizens to rely on mysticism and fortune as tools for hope and meaning in the midst of the ongoing crisis.
The piece portrays an Andean Bear, the only living species of it’s kind in Venezuela. The animal is surrounded by frailejon plants, which are commonly found in The Andes area of the country. Flowers and leaves sprout from its body, transforming the bear into a magical entity that is connected to the land. In front of it is a bag of corn bread, the main ingredient used for making the most beloved dish in Venezuelan cuisine: arepas. Due to the economic crisis, Venezuelans have struggled in finding this product.
By placing the precious flour at its feet, the bear turns into a being of fortune and goodwill. The final detail is the destroyed bust on the left corner, which bears a resemblance to Simon Bolívar, the father of Venezuelan Independence. The tattered appearance of this objects alludes to the disappointment of Venezuelans towards the corruption and ineptitude of the political class, resulting in the loss of hope for a leadership that would solve their problems.” – Diego de la Rosa
About the Artist:
Diego de la Rosa is a Venezuelan artist that is currently living and working in Toronto. His work explores the cultural impact of the social crisis in his native country, and relies on symbolism to explore the ideas and sentiments born from this reality. His process involves the collection of found imagery of people and places from Venezuela that are then rearranged into painted narratives full of imaginative elements, such as giants, theatrical atmosphere, and fantastical characters. The source imagery represents the perceived reality, while the painting tactics embody the values and ideas that are employed to create a reading for these circumstances.
The use of allegory in his paintings provides an artistic translation of social concepts similar to the interpretative approach of an anthropological study. He uses these painted scenarios to illustrate both the cultural notions surrounding the crisis, and critical theories on frustration, resilience, spatial inhibition and the desire for power, which he employs to analyze the subject at hand.
Through his work, De la Rosa creates images that universalize issues of oppression, crime and social struggle, evoking empathy in societies so distant from his own.