Location: United States
Antuco Chicaiza paintings poetically document his life: his family and friends, his travels and relocations, and his cultural identities and political beliefs. Like a layered visual diary, his works gather evidence of the events and forces that have effected him deeply.
Chicaiza’s early charcoal drawings and paintings drew upon his childhood memories of the lives of Indians in Ecuador. These works were representational in style and emphasized both social injustice and the peoples’ strength and pride. Later, his work described his own journey, reflecting in his words, “any injustice or prejudices I was affected by.”
In 2003 Chicaiza’s work shifted to a more experimental approach which focused on the sketch books which the artist has always carried. In those sketch books he records his thoughts, saves original and found images, and documents his travels. Chicaiza started making paintings that used images that he had archived including phrases, symbols, graffiti, and abstracted figures and faces, combining them in dense, interpenetrating compositions. This work has been his “most personal, showing my struggles and experiences.” Chicaiza’s subjects range from the challenges and rewards of family, to cultural heritage, to social and political issues. In his most recent work, photographs have been melded with painted passages and advertising images with a free-floating, collage-like approach.