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Series “El Llanto” by Oswaldo Guayasamín

4 December, 2023

This series, conceived between 1962 and 1989, shows the desperation that plagues those who find themselves in situations of oppression and violence. The creative genius behind this masterpiece is Oswaldo Guayasamín, an Ecuadorian artist whose exceptional skill and vision have allowed him to powerfully capture the complexities of human suffering.

Born in Quito, Ecuador, Guayasamín dedicated his life to capturing the complexities of the human condition in his work, becoming an accomplice of the social struggles of his time. His expressionist and figurative style is characterized by an explicit emotional intensity in his paintings. Guayasamín’s artworks explore the duality of human existence, where despair and hope coexist, and where the struggle for freedom and dignity is manifested through artistic expression.

Guayasamín, skilled in the amalgamation of expressionist and figurative techniques, imprints each canvas of the “El Grito” series with an unparalleled visual intensity, capturing vividly the very essence of anguish. In this series, human figures are revealed as mute witnesses to desolation, with distorted faces and bodies that embody the internal and external struggle that characterizes the experiences of those trapped in adverse circumstances.

“El Grito” then becomes a silent but eloquent song of resistance, where the dramatic color palette becomes the universal language that conveys despair and emotional heartbreak. In the paintings, a duality is presented to the viewer, who could practically hear the desperate cries and at the same time suffer with the figures the difficulty to do so, as if this cry remained in the throat and was never made out loud.

The protagonists of the canvases seem to cry out silently, as if the act of shouting were contained in their gestures and facial expressions, but the voice fades away before emerging from their throats. It is as if Guayasamín had captured the very essence of a drowned struggle, where despair and hope coexist in a visual dance that awakens empathy and reflection.

This series is part of his biggest project: “The Age of Wrath”, a series that addresses the atrocities of war, political oppression and social injustices. Guayasamín in this series captures the emotional intensity of anger, despair and suffering, using his distinctive expressionistic style to capture a narrative of stories of resistance and struggle.

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