roberto mamani mamani exhibit in la paz bolivia 27 march through 24 april 2009

by Museo Nacional de Arte
(La Paz, Bolivia)


The National Museum of ARt and the Banco Central de Bolivia Cultural Foundation present, beginning on 27 March 2009, the Roberto Mamani Mamani exhibit. Entry is FREE and begins at 7:00 p.m. at the National Museum of ARt (Calle Comercio and Socabaya in La Paz, Bolivia.

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Mamani Mamani is one of the best known contemporary indigenous Bolivian artists and is the result of the convergence of several factors in the art, society and talent circuits that cause this artist to be charismatic, joyful and full of life, with the intelligence of the Aymara and the cunning of the Quechua who inhabit the valleys of Cochabamba where he was born.

His new collection has an erotic feel. His series "Kalanchas" takes on some of the characteristics that brought his work to light at the end of the 1980's. His nudes, far from the canons of Western civilization, are shown in erotic poses that highlight the attributes of fertility: the breasts, stomach and hips are thick and bulky while the head and extremities are nearly non-existent. In this manner the painter represents the potential to give life and makes reference to the fertility of the Pachamama (Mother Earth or Mother Nature) as well.

Although the artist has previously employed the frog to represent the world of the Aymara, relating to rain and the abundance of cultivated land, this time this element takes on a different meaning, recovered from popular mestizo (mixed Spanish/Indigenous) beliefs that the frog represents the feminine sexual organs. This reinforces the erotic sense of this exhibit which culminates in the Wakabolas series, which in Aymara refers to the genitals of the bull, and animal which, in popular lore, represents the masculine power and sexual impulse. However, this term also refers to the vacuous ostentation of masculinity and force. In this manner the artist shows us the erotic universe without eliminating the possibility of interpreting them in our own way. Thus, the wakabolas represent those who, unlike the frog (which takes advantage of a precise moment to catch its prey) flaunt in excess but in reality accomplish little.


ROBERTO MAMANI MAMANI was born in Cala Cala, Cochabamba. He is the son of natives from the area of Tiawanaku. He spent his childhood between the highlands (Altiplano) of La Paz and the valley in which he was born. He began to paint when he was 12 years old. In university he studied agronomy and law but never put aside his passion for drawing and painting. During this time he self-trained and art took on more and more importance each day until finally it became his main activity. He was further motivated when he won First Prize in Drawing from the Pedro Domingo Murillo Annual Art Salon.

He has been exhibiting since 1983 and has represented this country on multiple occasions by participating in international fairs and other important events. Currently he is one of the most highly recognized Bolivian artists and this has given him the opportunity to exhibit individually in galleries and museums in various countries.

This exhibit contains over 50 pieces and will be displayed in the seasonal salons of the National Museum of Art (Museo Nacional de Arte) located at Calle Comercio and Socabaya in La Paz, through the 24th of April of this year.

La Paz, 18 March 2009

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