"The Unknown Land"
For many years I have been immersed in the task of revealing
the identity, self-image and worldview of Chile and Latin America.
I have submerged myself in this phenomenon by studying the graphic
testimonies left by pre-Colombian cultures: petroglyphs, ceramic
iconography, textiles and rock art. My study of the intuitive
knowledge or mythical thinking left by primitive artists has
revealed a legacy of incalculable value in recovering the Identity
and the Memory of our nation and continent.
By studying ancient graphic forms, it is possible to access
the vocabulary and alphabet graven in the most profound way on
the American identity. This graphic testimony has close links
with the images created by children and with the conception of
structure practiced by the surrealists.
All of these forms of expression attempt to explain reality
and its phenomena and result in a basic perception that is
closer to the primary and intuitive nature of the human being.
Memory, or the first source of information stored in the subconscious,
is transformed into a universal code that is passed on from
generation to generation, since the origins of humanity, and
is revealed through this intuitive expression.
saw an example of this universal code while studying petroglyphs
drawn 400-500 years ago by an indigenous
group in the Petorca
province. One etching in particular caught my eye because I had
seen a similar symbol before, only it had been drawn by a 6-year-old
boy. Intrigued by this coincidence, I asked several archeologists
and psychologists how it was possible for two people from such
distant times to draw the same symbol. No one was able to give
me a satisfactory answer, until I was introduced to the concept
of “genetic memory” by Otto Klein, an anthropologist
and investigator of megalithic cultures. According to Klein, “genetic
memory” explains the similarities found in the languages
of distinct cultures and civilizations.
But other coincidences would have impelled me to study these
phenomena. On various occasions I have modeled forms and symbols
that I later found to be similar to figures from ancestral cultures
such as the Aztecs, Egyptians, Moche, Greeks and Incas without
having seen these forms previously.
is the origin of these images that are projected from the subconscious?
For me, the answer lies in the concept
The relationship between the primitive artist, the surreal artist
and the language of children is a portal for my creative work.
I begin the creation of my images through automatic writing,
through the expression of the irrational and subconscious, in
the manner of the Surrealists, spontaneously, like an explosive
vomit of great force and expressiveness. Later I order them into
distinct sessions of work, incorporating chromatic elements,
purifying and integrating symbols until a series of 20 to 40
paintings is created. These I present as evidence of the creative
process and the stages my work passes through, from the first
stroke to the esthetically finished work.
the goals of art are the revelation of beauty, the illumination
of society’s path and the detection
of the empty places in a culture in order to satisfy its most
such as its need for Identity and Transcendence. I believe that
one of the ways to convey the knowledge of a people is through
the discovery of its Memory. Only with memory is it possible
to accept the intuitive capacities of the human being, to accept
our past and our visions of the future, allowing us to leave
a testimony of incalculable value in the understanding of the
self-image, the world image and the interests of a humanity permanently
engaged in a process of change and development.
Chilean visual artist Andrés Ovalle was born Dec.
11, 1970. He graduated from the Design School at the Universidad
de Viña del Mar, Chile.