Rembrandt and Bacon Inspired Bohórquez

Painter Bohórquez was inspired by Rembrandt and Bacon

Published in Expreso Newspaper, Expresiones Section, of Ecuador

Pintura "Encarnada" por René Bohorquez

Rembrandt and Bacon inspired Bohórquez

The first time that Bohórquez (then an adolescent) observed an autopsy as part of his 10th grade Bio-Chem course at the Abdón Calderón Private School. This experience inspired to paint the image of an indigenous child lying prostrate on a metal trolley in Guayaquil’s police morgue mark a before and after in the manner of seeing the human body for painter René Bohórquez. The painting could be seen as one of main masterpieces displayed thanks to the collaboration of social leader Alvaro Noboa and his III Biennial of Painting.

Breathing deeply in order to dominate his hyper-sensibility and not feel the cuts that the scalpel made into the body of the small child, Bohórquez remained in the dissection room.

Once the Y-shaped cut had been made, in order to open the thoracic chamber, a change of perspective surged within the young man.  “Upon seeing the organs, you forget it is a child and you think it is a piece of meat.”

This, tied to references from his artistic life, like Rembrandt and his work, “The Slaughtered Ox”, the crucifixions of Francis Bacon, and with Lucian Freud’s particular interest in meat, brought him to the creation of “Incarnate,” the work that earned first place in the third edition of the “Álvaro Noboa” Guayaquil International Biennial of Painting.

René, who studies Visual Art at the University Espíritu Santo (UEES) for two years now, created the painting thinking in a series in which he intended to reveal death as a fact concerning man. “I would have done this work even had I not participated in the Biennial… I’ve had the idea of the death series for some time.  When I found out that the theme was “Elements of Nature,” I tried to think how I could connect to it in order to participate. It wasn’t difficult, given that the theme was fairly undefined.”

The work, elaborated in oil on canvas gives volume to the two bodies who make up the painting. On the left, an ox with its abdomen cut open to reveal its ribs. “The animal appears like a kind of version of Rembrandt, but it’s not exact, either.” On the other side of the painting, there is a woman, “with a delicate appearance that compels the spectator to contrast it to the hardness of the cut of meat.”

Bohórquez will invest the $10,000 prize in materials to complete his series on death. This is the first award of this kind he has won, and it has consolidated his idea to study Visual Art in New York.

Second Place

This distinction went to the Cuban, William Hernández, who could not take part in the prize giving event as he was in Cuba. His work, “Way of Miracles” was executed in acrylic on canvas and obtained a prize of $5,000.

Newcomer Artists

Prizes in this category of the Biennial, of $1,000 each, went to Javier Gavilanes (Path of the Child), Nelson Santos Avilés (Interlaunches), Leonardo Lozano Cedeño (A New Horizon), Jacqueline Villamar (Conservation Practices) (photo left) and to Robert Seng from the United States (Ink on Polystyrene) (photo right).