|Alex can paint without looking at the picture.|
When I first met Alex he was sort of posing as a part time waiter on the Malecon. His English is excellent, and in a way he's charming enough. But to think of him as a painter? It didn't occur to me he had any talent other than hitting on tourists for chump change. I learn something new every day.
|A good picture of Iquitos area in the Amazon.|
I've met enough painters in Iquitos by now to see that in a generation or two, as parents pass on their skills to children, and children grow up to see the fallibility of their parents, that those children will want to, and need to, excel, to do far better than their low-rent fathers; and the children will strive and possibly succeed in producing grandchildren of genuine genius.
|But is it art?|
Iquitos, Peru, I think, will become a centre sometime 40 years of so from now of great Amazonian fine art. It takes those first painters to set the wheel in motion. Alex, not a real artist-- an illustrator at a comic book level-- is one of those who could, and will, set the Amazon ablaze with light and line and colour and theme in time to come, his grandchildren discovering their heritage in fine artists such as Pinasco et al, as seen at the local Cathedral. There was a chance a hundred years ago for the flowering of fine art here, but it died with the Rubber Boom's bust. Now, rather than Aida Calvo and Father Edilberto Américo Pinasco and César Calvo de Araujo setting the scene, it's people like Alex and Lambda and Jhonny Java Nunez and Oswaldo and numerous others, none of them fine artists, who will generate a flood of real artists in the Amazon. Not yet. These men are the forefathers of a brilliant generation to come. When the maturation of Amazonian art takes place, it will be some beautiful flowering indeed.
A gentle reminder that my book, An Occasional Walker, is available at the link here:
And here are some reviews and comments on said book: