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Los Páramos

de Mónica Meira

It all started with a photograph of the Santurban Paramo that I saw published in a local newspaper. It illustrated an article about the conflict of subsoil exploitation and the delimitation of land suitable and unsuitable for mining and agriculture. I looked for information about the paramos in different sources and I was intrigued with the whole subject of these glacial ecosystems that produce 70% of the water in Colombia. Colombia’s water wealth, with almost half of the world’s paramos, makes it a privileged country.

The series of the moors made in painting and drawing began during the pandemic with the confinement and uncertainty of the tremendous moment we have had to live.

They are a collection of images, of ideas that build a place, that evoke a moment, that awaken in the memory situations already lived. An invented but possible reality that speaks of climatic changes, of the nature of our environment. These works are a contrast between an abstract stain and figurative forms that force the viewer to move away to feel the space and to approach to detail the figures.

To take the viewer to a landscape where he can walk through it, walk it and analyze it, suddenly he has already been there and it brings back memories. It is a way to reflect on the care of the environment, on the great changes and on the fragility of which we are witnesses.

Each era in the history of art has a very definite way of interpreting the theme of landscape. Just by looking at it, one can tell which century it belongs to or who made it.

I want to leave my own landscape, the landscape of my moment, to comment on my own existence and to freeze a lived experience. It is my personal garden marked by the presence of the human being.

Monica Meira

Monica Meira was born in London, England, of Argentinean origin. She arrived with her family in Colombia in 1957. She became a Colombian citizen in 2004. She studied art at the Universidad de los Andes, where she obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1971. That same year she married Juan Cardenas, also a painter. They have two children, Miguel and Verónica, also painters. Later she did a postgraduate degree at New York University (MA), NYU, in painting in 1995. In 1995-1996 she did a specialization in Printmaking at New York University. Since 1969 she has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Colombia and abroad.

She has been distinguished with the “Honorable Mention ‘Windows’ Installation” at Washington Square Galleries, New York City, 1994. She obtained a scholarship at New York University in the same year. Honorable Mention, Latin American Painting Contest, 2002, Enersis, Chile.

In 1973, she received Honorable Mention in Drawing, VI Salón de Agosto, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Bogotá. In 1971 she won the First Prize in Painting, V Salón de Agosto, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Bogotá, and in 1972 she won the Prize in Painting, Salón Jorge Tadeo Lozano. Since 1992 she lives and works between New York and Bogota. Her works are exhibited in several museums and public and private collections in Colombia, South America, the United States and Europe. Seguros Bolivar published a monograph on his work in 2010.