Ecuador's Best Contemporary Artists and Where to See Their Work

Mural by Pavel Égüez, Quito, Ecuador | ©Bob /Flickr
Mural by Pavel Égüez, Quito, Ecuador | ©Bob /Flickr
Photo of Angela Drake
Founder, Not Your Average American8 September 2017

The landscape, culture and people of the small but diverse nation of Ecuador offer a never-ending supply of subject matter for local artists. Many have become world-renowned, displaying their works in international exhibitions and permanent collections. These names are worth looking for not only while traveling Ecuador, but when visiting museums and exhibitions around the globe.

Pablo Cardoso

Born in Cuenca, Ecuador in 1965, Pablo Cardoso lives and works in the city of his birth. His work encompasses both painting and photography to explore landscapes in transition, while using unique perspective to call attention to movement and motion in otherwise static panoramas.

DPM Gallery, Av. Jorge Perez Concha 111, Guayaquil, Ecuador +593 4-288-8099

Pablo Cardoso, Caudal #30-Taura. Estero Amarradero, óleo / lienzo, 150x135cm, 2015 #pablocardoso

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Wilson Paccha

Bright, colorful and surreal all describe the latest oil paintings of artist Wilson Paccha. His work is playful and disturbing, reflecting a cultural dissonance often felt by modern day Ecuadorians living in a nation fraught with political and social divisions.

DPM Gallery, Av. Jorge Perez Concha 111, Guayaquil, Ecuador +593 4-288-8099

Wilson Paccha, "Referí de chaquiñañ y Leo Messi" óleo/lienzo, 175x145cm., 2014

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Janneth Méndez

The Cuencana artist Janneth Méndez uses organic material like human hair, blood, urine, semen and mother’s milk to create her works of art. Her husband, artist Pablo Cardoso, once donated a liter of blood for a series on menstruation called Pasado Mañana es Miércoles created in 2009. In 2013, she crocheted a net from human hair.

Universidad del Azuay, Ave 24 de Mayo 7-77, Cuenca, Ecuador +593 7-409-1000

Pavel Égüez

Muralist and painter Pavel Égüez focuses his work on the basic human right of mobility and how it applies to modern day borders. His latest collection, “Náufragos,” explores the experience of migrants and loss of life as they attempt to cross oceans.

Centro Cultural Casa Égüez, Rio de Janeiro, Quito, Ecuador +593 2-290-1137

Jorge Velarde

Contemporary artist Jorge Velarde, from Guayaquil, is part of the art collective LaArteFactoria. His works are primarily oil paintings and sculpture. Each piece is a reflection of the human condition as seen through the repetitive nature of daily life.

Centro Cultural PUCE, Ave 12 de Octubre, Quito, Ecuador

Karina Skvirsky

Ecuadorian photographer, videographer and performance artist Karina Skvirsky explores the intersection of the documentary image and artistic tradition. Her recent work includes drone footage from New York City, Guayaquil, and unidentified locations to call attention to the almost UFO-like invasion of our skies.

Her latest film, The Perilous Journey of María Rosas Palacios, premieres at Smack Mellon in New York City on September 23, 2017.

DPM Gallery, Av. Jorge Perez Concha 111, Guayaquil, Ecuador +593 4-288-8099

Jorge Perugachy

Otavalo artist Jorge Perugachy draws on the rich cultural history of the Imbabura Province of Ecuador, incorporating the cosmovision of the native Quichua in his contemporary paintings. He heavily focuses on strong images of native Ecuadorians. His use of light is enhanced by details painted in rich jewel tones, burnished gold reminiscent of ancient Incan palaces, and somber espresso brown and indigo black which force the brighter colors to the foreground.

José Bastidas

Earning awards for his drawings as a young child, José Bastidas has always known he would be an artist. In fact, his paintings retain a childlike joy as if drawn with a newly opened box of 64 color crayons. He draws from his Otavaleño roots and the richness of the Imbabura Province, translating his vision of civilization, people and landscapes into stunning works of art.

Club “24 de Mayo,” Otavalo, Ecuador