Monday, December 21, 2015

Art Exhibit: Blackness in Latin America

Jorge Arcos, Stanley Bermudez, Pedro Fuertes, Dora Lopez, Carlos Solis Alexis Mendoza, Jose Peña, Margarita Fresco Crespo, Carlos Barberena, Ismael Checo, Marco Razo and Reinaldo Vargas.

The idea for this project came from an investigation made by Carlos Solis (Contrapunto’s founder) as a result of this investigation Carlos created a painting based on the historical character Pedro Camejo. Pedro Camejo was born in San Juan de Payara in 1790 in Venezuela and died in battle in Campo Carabobo, Venezuela in 1821. Pedro Camejo, better known as Negro Primero or The First Black was a Venezuelan soldier who fought in the rebel army during the Venezuelan War of Independence, reaching the rank of lieutenant. The nickname of Negro Primero was inspired by his bravery and skill in handling spears, and because he was always in the first line of attack on the battlefield. The nickname is also attributed to Camejo’s being the only officer of color in Simon Bolivar’s revolutionary army.Carlos Solis and the members of Contrapunto discussed the African influence in Latin America and their own work and the possibility of creating an exhibition of artwork that focuses specifically on the African influence in Latin America and the Caribbean. Many of the artists of Contrapunto had already been creating artwork about the subject matter along those lines because the African influence is ingrained in the culture of many Latin American and Caribbean countries. This exhibition recognizes the long overlooked African history and influence present in Latin American countries. The exhibition illustrates a very real connection between Latin Americans and the massive contribution that Africa have made to music, food, dance, language, and art in the Americas as well as the Caribbean.

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