• Short Summary

    One of the world's leading expressionist painters, Osvaldo Guayasamin, is holding an exhibition of his works in the Ecuador mountain capital of Quito.

  • Description

    One of the world's leading expressionist painters, Osvaldo Guayasamin, is holding an exhibition of his works in the Ecuador mountain capital of Quito.

    Guayasamin began painting while still at school, doing cartoons of his teachers, a pastime that got him expelled from school. Guayasamin was born into a poor family. His father, an Indian, was forced to work up to 18 hours a day as a taxi driver in order to earn a living.

    At the age of twelve, Guayasamin registered himself at an art school in Quito. Near the school was a slaughter house where the young artist said he first found the "true expression of Death".

    Guayasamin got his first big break when the rich industrialist Nelson Rockefeller -- now Vice President of the United States -- visited Quito in 1941. Rockefeller bought five paintings by the then unknown artist and Guayasamin consequently received an invitation from the State Department to visit the United States.

    While there Guayasamin had his paintings exhibited in the most fashionable art galleries in New York, Chicago and California. He sold most of his work to buyers in the United States and used the money to pay off the large debts he had incurred while still a struggling artist.

    Guayasamin proudly calls himself an Indian and his largest, and perhaps best known masterpiece is titled "Huacayanan" which means "Life of Crying" and depicts details from the hard life of Indians and negro people in South America. The entire work is comprised of more than one hundred separate "images".

    Guayasamin's latest painting is called "Los Torturados" or the tortured ones. It is dedicated to the Chilean singer, Victor Jara, who died in prison after he was arrested during the right-wing military coup.

    SYNOPSIS: One of the world's best known artists and South America's leading artistic personality, Osvaldo Guayasamin, gazes out over Quito -- the capital city of his homeland -- Ecuador. He and his wife have arranged an exhibition of the artist's work in Quito.

    Guayasamin now owns this house in Quito, but he didn't always live in such style. His father was an Indian who was forced to work up to eighteen hours a day to earn a living. From an early age Guayasman's painting brought him into conflict with the authorities ... he was expelled from school in Quito for doing cartoons of his teachers. At the age of twelve he enrolled at an art school and he bought his first pair of shoes that year with money earned from the sale of several of his paintings.

    His big break came with a visit to Quito by the rich industrialist Nelson Rockefeller in nineteen forty one. Rockefeller, now Vice President of the United States, bought several of Guayasamin's paintings.

    This led to a tour of the United States where his work was acclaimed from New York to California. Guayasamin is proud of his Indian heritage and his best known work, titled "Huacayanan", or Life of Crying, depicts the plight of the Indian and Negro peoples in the history of South America.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
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