Beyond my feelings, beyond his personal qualities, I want to express the thoughts that the early death of Jaime Ávila produces in me.
From his beginning as an artist, with his engineering training, Jaime Ávila defined a singular production, totally alien to the academic models and fashions of the moment.
His commercial capacity – he had a very famous boutique in Zipaquirá – gave him an economic independence that allowed him to stay away from the mirages and vagaries of the art market. Market that nowadays seduces and makes so many young people succumb with claims of an artist.
(We suggest: The great plastic artist Jaime Ávila died)
In addition, his talent for graphic design – he did important work for entities as rigorous as the National Police – kept him away during the years of the consolidation of his work from the vagaries and ups and downs of the galleries.
His beginning was happy and playful, I remember the light bulbs of the trucks from his first paintings. After that first playful phase, he arrives with his works, with reference to the mythologies of Star Wars, to his transcendent epiphany: his media capacity. That is to say, its accurate, innate and incredible perception of the environment and the moment.
Away, surly, aloof from the artistic fields, his social capacity was reflected in an interesting work in Bogota’s prisons, carried out in the company of Penelope Richardson, an Australian artist who fell in love with Bogotá.
Oblivious to discussions, poses and theories, with his work he incisively affects thought, politics and social problems. Let us remember his shaven and very hairy ‘Che’ who selflessly annulled all the clichés on the left and the appropriations on the right. And if that were not enough, there is his devastating writing, the result of his coexistence with a black African artist, in which, with a few simple words and with all the force of a political manifesto, he showed us Colombians that despite all our aspirations, convictions and pretensions, we only managed to be a shameful ‘fourth world’.
His successive never-repeated production cycles, always current in terms of his discourse, always innovative in terms of supports, supports treated with extreme professional rigor, were always surprising and, at the same time, totally forceful.
It remains for some lucky person the difficult and pleasant task of reviewing his work and locating him as a true champion of contemporary art in Colombia. And for us, his fans and for Colombian culture, the great emptiness of the absence of his future works, since death wanted to take away a great artist just reaching the fullness of his creative maturity.
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