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Clippings from a paradise lost


The work of Manuel Ameztoy reveals bodies scattered within a kaleidoscopic foliage, in the intimacy of a forest: Pop-up paradises.

In an undetermined jungle, full of animal colors and spirits, paradise – in a vegetable origami – is implied. Manuel Ameztoy, in a kind of initiation ritual, says that he often goes out to explore the undergrowth near his home, cutting a new path and seeking a shining opening. In some ways this profuse space that grows around a river is a gallery of visions. The artist incorporates this vegetal chant into the depths of his mind and translates it into visual art that recalls the visions of shamans in the jungle.

Manuel Ameztoy is one of Argentina’s most internationally known visual artists. He is currently working with cloth and perforated plastic, cut-out forms of the material he uses (like paper cuts). With this technique he weaves an enormous and inviting visual spectacle, an artistic environment that can be strolled though and which invades the gallery and seduces the spectator. Like a jungle in which the branches and the plants pour over us, spilling with life.

From the white ceilings of the galleries in which he exhibits his work, huge canvases hang, one perforated with another so that we can see, through the hollows, the layers that precede each one and the different tones from which the magic emerges. The overall vision could be of a face that emerges from the pieces or simply a brief flash of some randomly captured figure. The spectators find themselves in an attractive and mysterious otherness: sometimes an abstract pattern that their mind completes and lends new meaning to.

His paintings evoke watery objects, lichens, melted spiders’ webs; the pastel tones relax us and prolong the charm of timeless contemplation. They capture the spectator’s lucky encounter with the rhythmic and mystical flow of the cosmos once they have passed through the initial chaos and its wild energy.

His series Pop-Up Paradises is a spectacle of subtleties, evoking palaces or meditational centers of starched charm. A work that incites lazy introspection, a fertile ground for creation. Ameztoy takes us into his animist world and allows us to open the curtains to reveal an ineffable secret.

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