To mark the occasion of the State Visit of the President of Colombia, Mr. Juan Manuel Santos and Mrs. María Clemencia Rodríguez de Santos, the Embassy of Colombia in London and Maddox Gallery are pleased to present ORO - SPIRIT AND NATURE OF A TERRITORY - an exhibition by contemporary Colombian artist Pedro Ruíz.
Working in the quintessential material of Colombia - gold ("Oro" in Spanish) - Ruíz embraces the great opportunity his country now has to achieve peace after 52 years of conflict, as a result of the resolute efforts of President Juan Manuel Santos, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2016.Working in the quintessential material of Colombia - gold ("Oro" in Spanish) - Ruíz embraces the great opportunity his country now has to achieve peace after 52 years of conflict, as a result of the resolute efforts of President Juan Manuel Santos, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2016.
In ancient Colombia, gold's value was symbolic not monetary: the yellow, iridescent material was associated with the brilliance and constancy of the sun. On such terms, it represents the perfect medium with which to reflect on this timely moment in Colombia's history. Something Ruíz well recognises. He invites us to reflect on and meditate upon the different values that, throughout centuries, have shaped the Colombian identity.
Spectators are challenged to sweep stereotypes originated from violence and conflict, to discover the true meaning of magical realism, a concept introduced by Colombian literature Nobel Prize Laureate, Gabriel García Márquez.
Ruíz’s fascination with regional bio-diversity and ecology is conveyed and exquisitely captured through his precise brushstrokes and vibrant colour palette.
This can also be observed in the detailed variety of flora and fauna which populate his work. Ruíz is renowned for using his paintings to also explore wider socio-political issues, questions of bio-diversity and man’s relationship with Nature, themes which permeate his work and thinking.
Ruíz has received many awards and distinctions for his unique perspective and talent. Most recently, he was conferred the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) by the French government for his contribution to Colombian art.