Chile is renowned for its poets, but there are also painters, photographers and filmmakers who are each innovators in their own right, their cutting-edge work recognized all around the world. Explore Chile’s blossoming contemporary art scene, starting with the following 10 emerging artists.
Rodrigo Valenzuela is one of Chile’s leading contemporary artists and filmmakers, having gained recognition for his work exploring social and political issues from both a community and individualistic standpoint. His 2016 print and video series, Hedonic Reversal, garnered praise from the international art world when it was featured at New York City’s envoy enterprises. The piece explored the collective experience of alienation felt by working class immigrants.
Camilo Yáñez offers biting commentary on Chilean society in his art that combines videos, found objects, photography and other means of expression to create a dialogue of ideas and ultimately critique the world he lives in. Yañez’ work as a curator is also well-known; the artist has curated for the Matucana 100 gallery and also curated the opening exhibition for Chile’s National Center for Contemporary Art.
Chilean painter Natalia Babarovic is one of the country’s leading contemporary artists. Her work is on display at the National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes) in Santiago and at her gallery, XS Galería. Subjects of Babarovic’s work include pools, people, landscapes and windows.
This talented painter and sculptor based in Santiago, Chile has much to offer, having shown his work in galleries in countries like the UK, Argentina, the US and China. Using bright colors, geometric shapes and metallic hues, Gerardo Pulido has caught the attention of the international art world.
Josefina Guilisasti plays with the relationship between subject and object in her still life pictorial works and photographs. Guilisasti’s exhibitions have explored themes including colonization, commercialism and exploitation and development.
Catalina Bauer is a mixed media artist who often uses donated materials from a specific community to create her works, which incorporate the use of textiles and artisan crafts. Bauer has been involved with a number of international and collaborative artistic projects and exhibitions.
Artist Iván Navarro’s trippy light and mirror neon pieces are his own reaction to growing up as a kid during the Chilean dictatorship. His bright, minimalist sculptures and installations have created a unique dialogue about the power of electricity and how it can be used, and was used during the dictatorship, to control people.
Heriberto Bravo’s vibrant and colorful paintings externalize the individual’s simultaneous reflection of past and future for the “haves” and “have nots” of the world. Bravo, currently based in Barcelona, has shown his work at galleries in Chile, Colombia, Bulgaria and Spain.
Tomás Rivas’ skilled use of both drawing and sculpture techniques have garnered attention from the international art world. His works often mimic architectural periods throughout history, contextualizing their aesthetics and the societies that developed in the same era.
The convergence of body and soul are at the forefront of Alejandra Musalem’s colorful work. Through her evocative paintings, Musalem puts on display the passion and complexity of human beings and the essence of the outer and inner self.