"An alliance between the topographical and the animalistic", La Estrella, Chile

"An alliance between the topographical and the animalistic", La Estrella, Chile

By Marcela Küpfer C., marcela.kupfer@estrellavalpo.cl, La Estrella

The artist Lobsang Durney presents, at the Palacio Vergara de Viña, the series “Cerdos pig-teños”, where he creates surreal images of the Port.

In “Cerdo Las Cañas”, a large pig surrounded by the cotillion of a celebration appears facing the consequences of a party that was too long; in the “Cerdo Artillería”, a large armored pig points in different directions; the "O'Higgins Pig" bears the curious imprint of a pig in power; and in the “Pig Playa Ancha”, old houses, trolleys, boats and ladders run aground, on the body of the pig, with the sea in the background.

They are part of the "Pork-teños Pigs", a collection of paintings by the artist Lobsang Durney inspired by the names of the [Valparaiso] city's hills, mixed with animal, architectural and heritage imagery always present in the works of this artist.

The exhibition, which can be visited until December 30 at the Vergara Palace in Viña del Mar, [Chile], includes 18 oil paintings by Lobsang Durney, currently based in Barcelona.

Lobsang Durney, Chilean artist and architect

- What inspired you to do this series about the hills of Valparaiso?

First it was my interest in surrealism, a field of imagination that can make everything visible and fantastic at the same time. But occasionally the idea of ​​Lukas, our great [Valparaiso] port portrait painter, came to me, where in one of his observations inherited from his architecture studios he wrote that at any moment the hills would shake off the dust and mud, and that clicked and gave me the idea that the hills were alive, like a great entity, with their anecdotes and particular originalities. 

Later it was a matter of characterizing them based on their names in a kind of dyslalia when changing pig for hill, that opened a visual field orienting me to a certain extent in the design of the paintings. It should also be noted that the play of words has always interested me as a source of inspiration, doing a simple exercise of playing combining terms, where I seek to invent architectures, zoomorphic in this case, derived from a brutal antipoetry that one can write or imagine. I want to add that this series would not have been possible without the support of the cultural manager Eulogio Rojas, who since the beginning of this series (2006) trusted and supported the production of the sample.

Hills of Valparaiso

Hills of Valparaiso, Chile

- What does the pig represent in this fantasy?

For me it represents an alliance between the topographical and the animalistic, the pig together with the pig seeks to build its characteristics in a single great hybrid, the pig with all its meanings and the hill with all its culture.

In this case, the animal becomes the great adhesive and the clustered houses the great adhesive. I also believe that the pig is a symbol to which we are not indifferent, from its pejorative characterizations, its human consumption, to the animal protection that it should have like all living beings. In any case, the pig as an abstract animal was the starting point that helped me extend my painting to other animals, later I painted horses, dogs, cats, and many other fauna in the same style, I invite you to see other examples in my RRSS, that made me infinite the possibility of “Valporizing” anything.

Lobsang Durney painting, "CERDO TORO"

The “Bull Pig” shows off its sharp hubs.

- Some describe your work as surreal, others as post punk and others as dystopian, how would you describe it?

-It is interesting in art to always give an "ism" to the style, it serves as a point of reference to begin a conceptual experience with painting.

But I would classify my work as "relativist", that is to say that it is not looked at by preconceived ideas, where everything can happen and that everything is free of interpretation according to the own wisdom of those who contemplate my work, who can see aesthetic anachronisms, referential scales and sets of elements among so many possibilities.

As Max Ernst said about “the fortuitous meeting of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table”, the elements are not forced to be what they are and can degenerate or mutate their object value when they are decontextualized or arranged. In another function, such as the flying elevators that I have painted.


Reprinted from the original article in La Estrella, Valpraiso, Chile

By Marcela Kupfer C. - Published in December, 2022.

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