“Costumbrista” art

In the 1950s and 1960s in Latin America, a movement came about in defence of image and figuration, based on updated and contemporary languages. This attitude, opposed to the dematerialisation of art proposed by the avant-gardes of North America and Europe, came about consciously and voluntarily in Latin American artists, creating an artistic style in which the need for change merges with that of communicating with the public.

Figurative, removed from tradition, but with their identity always present, they created a language based on symbols and references that could be decoded by the public, through which they demonstrated their concern with the political, social and cultural situations of their times.

Latin American artists operated through symbolic figuration. This “realism” was never totally faithful to reality, rather to a re-reading, an analysis of the real passed through the filter of social criticism and the keys of contemporary art. Therefore, we see the work of artists like Herman Braun-Vega, classified as “hyperrealist”, and Antonio Seguí, with a form of synthetic realism which moves beyond the anecdotal in order to highlight the subject of his work (representations of human figures with content related to social criticism).

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