Graciela Bello
Argentine contemporary artist

While she was studying Literature (her second passion) at the University, she took courses in History of Art, Aesthetics, Philosophy, and she attended different art workshops: Photography, Airbrushing, Drawing, Painting and Engraving. She organized art workshops for children and adults.

Since 1992 she has taken part in more than 190 solo and group exhibitions in Argentina:
Museums, Cultural Centers, Universities, Art Galleries and Art Fairs. Her works were selected in National juried exhibitions, where she has been awarded several prizes and honor mentions.

She has also exhibited in: Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Ireland and USA.
Her works are shown in Museums, institutions, private and public schools, historic buildings, and are also part of private collections both in Argentina and abroad.
Her paintings illustrate the postcards of many charitable institutions, some of them were used as book covers (novels and poetry books).
Graciela Bello art is also included in several art books and magazines and on art websites.

Artist Statement

Painting is the way I express myself, the way I communicate my personal view of both the world and life.

It is not a hobby: it is something essential, visceral, which Rilke –the poet- called "a need."

Furthermore, it is a way to defeat time and death, a way to perpetuate my dreams.

I love different painting styles: the Surrealists like René Magritte (aesthetically sublime) or Marc Chagall (sheer poetry).

Among Argentine painters, my admiration for Antonio Berni –with the sensitivity of his faces and his wonderful collages- makes him one of my role models.

I am also touched by some abstract painting.  For instance, Jackson Pollock's "drip and splash" style moves me, and in its apparent secrecy I find an extremely poetic language for my soul.

I like detail, texture, materials, ensembles, ideas; those paintings which become poetry.

As regards my own little background with painting:

I have painted ever since I was a little girl. The best gift for me was a box full of color pencils or temperas, which almost always came from my aunt and uncle's shop –a place full of wonders, some of which I was unable to decipher at that time.

Above all, I liked drawing faces, female faces of different ages, and playing with my sister to name them (“this looks like Vilma, Susana, Olga…”) I also made collages.

 From my school days, I remember attending an extracurricular workshop delivered by a school nun. We argued quite a lot, because she wanted to “interfere” with my work, which -at the age of ten or twelve- I already found unacceptable. However, I remember with affection that she was the first person who talked to me about “texture,” which could be found everywhere.

In my twenties, I used to attend a workshop where I learned more thoroughly the use of various materials, schools of painting, live models, etc…There I confirmed that my "perceptions" came true. Just as when Plato refers to knowledge as “reminiscence,” as a memory of the world of ideas, which is exactly what happened to me…They talked to me in a familiar language, a language known from a previous or past life: “my own language.”

Meanwhile, during my Literature studies at university (my second passion), I took courses on Art History, Aesthetics, and Philosophy, in addition to reading most of the universal literature, which opened my mind to a magic, wonderful world.

For a few years I worked as a free-lancer to get my own house: I worked with textile patterns and painted clothes, furniture and objects. I also worked in art workshops for both children and adults. All of them were enriching experiences, as well as the courses I used to take from time to time: photography, aerography, papier maché,etc. Everything evolved into a craft.

In the 1990’s I decided to exhibit my work, with thirty years old and my small son.

When I began to exhibit my paintings, the first themes which inspired me were my family, the world of my grandparents: that world should not vanish; it should be somehow immortalized in my works. I felt that I had to pay a tribute to my beloved grandfather and grandmother from my mother’s side, innate craftsmen – a carpenter and a shirt- and dress-maker, respectively. Their gifted hands, which used to fix and make everything blossom, were inherited by my mother, who arranged flower centerpieces, her grandson's costume, or my wedding hairdo with the same devotion. Today, all those hands –that preceded those of the artist’s- join together in my hands, which try to express beauty, order, fantasy, and harmony.

From my mother´s family I inherit the artistic sensibility.

From the Bello family, I take the strong personality.

Later, I focused my attention on the surrounding world, my country, and its habits; and within that context the Tango theme loomed large. I became obsessed with the topic of Gardel as a myth. I imagined the dreams of many of his eternal fans. Those ethereal porcelain-face women, who in some cases even died for his love, also had their homage in my paintings.  It is a collection full of sensitivity and nostalgia. That stage lasted approximately ten years, including detailed and descriptive works.

Since 2000, I have begun to go through a different phase in both my life and my work.

A few tough events which I had to face at that time –the loss of some beloveds, and a sheer feeling of fragility and uncertainty- undoubtedly impacted my “perfect world” and took me to a different stage.

I began to leave behind the thorough description of the past and of a neat world, opening up to fantasy and imagination.

During this stage I worked in a collection: “The Equilibrists” or “Magical Paintings". First of all, this collection depicts a search.

I try to express a greater freedom and certain image ambiguity. I experience the pleasure of fun and magic. I gave life to jokers that escape from their cards looking for fun.

I let them play their pranks. Moreover, though still longing for the past, circus characters, equilibrists, masked characters, and harlequins look for a night full of fantasy even though their lives are hanging by a thread.

“The equilibrists” also had their stages: a first oneiric and poetic stage which leads me to the land of magic and dreams, where real and unreal things become blurred…

Then I painted the "Argentinean equilibrist " series, inspired on the crisis in my beloved country.

Then ,this idea grew and arrived to the "business man", a common executive, a man of the XXI century, lost in abstract areas, crossing empty cities, looking for balance  and answers in an inhospitable and indifferent world, today's world.

I feel that I still have a lot to say and other languages to experience.  My game must go on.

I envy those old ”elves” with long lives like Picasso or Miró who created over so many years everything they wanted and imagined. What a wonderful freedom! They experienced even the pleasure of rolling over the canvass impregnated with color! If only I could do so!!!! I hope I will have the strength to dare at least a little bit…

Buenos Aires

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