Art and Literature by Washington Cucurto: the birth of an artist

November 26, 2021 | nadiaevangelina

"Todo es Ficción" (Everything is Fiction) is an exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art that brings together a wide production of figurative paintings and collages by the Argentine writer Washington Cucurto, now a visual artist.

Washington Cucurto's works focus on narratives of marginality. The artist creates a visual universe full of colors and shapes in his large format pieces in which one can appreciate invented words, insults to politicians, street culture, popular parties, poverty, reflections, an explosion of music, and a controversial black Eva Perón. In the words of the curator Victoria Noorthoorn, "his work portrays the history and culture of a continent crossed by racial, social and political violence, with a look full of love, humor and tenderness".

"Tu mortaja es mi bandera" (Your shroud is my flag)

"Retrato de Eva Perón" (Portrait of Eva Perón)

The most captivating aspect of this exhibition is Cucurto's path as an artist. Born in 1973 under the name Santiago Vega, Cucurto was a supermarket worker who began to play at being someone else he invented. This is how his first stories and poems were born more than 20 years ago. According to the author, most of his works come from the imagination. In fact, on more than one occasion he has said that his pseudonym has freed him to create stories, stories that he often imagined. Cucurto fits in with the crowd, but Santiago is a shy man. Santiago does not know how to dance, nor has he been to Paraguay or the Dominican Republic.

Cucurto -and Santiago too- became cult writers among young people. But after falling victim to the harsh economic and political situation in Argentina, Cucurto began to create small collages in a self-taught way with found objects, such as paper, cardboard, chalk, or wrappers. The artist found a new way to express himself. His works have a grotesque and visually chaotic aesthetic and are nothing more than an extension of the fictional world he has been building in his literature.

Noorthoorn, who is also the museum's director, was in charge of selecting some of Cucurto's many works from his dizzying production of the last four years. Although his art is inventive and joyful, the pieces reflect the points of tension between the upper and lower classes, between Anglo and Latin America. Hanging on walls painted bright red, the works are distributed in various spaces of the museum. From the hall to other exhibition participations or the room located on the top floor, visitors are surprised when they least expect it with expressive and cheeky compositions.

The informal character of the tour is maintained throughout the entire proposal. The exhibition is designed to introduce visitors to Cucurto as a new artist. Instead of the typical long and complex curatorial texts, the curatorship chose to work in conjunction with the artist's ideas, without burdening the writing with theory. Therefore, the friendly texts that run through the exhibition reflect Cucurto's voice, generating a spirit of closeness with the visitor.

"Todo es Ficción" 
Location: Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Av. San Juan 350, C1147 AAO, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Opening Date: 9th September 2021
End Date: 28th February 2022
Working hours: Monday: 11am to 7pm
Wednesday-Friday: 11am to 7pm
Saturday-Sunday: 11am to 8pm

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