Juan Araújo (born 1971 in Caracas, Venezuela; lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal).
Oil on wood.
“The images by Juan Araújo are a deep reflection on the painting-architecture relationship that is often expressed through the binomials of fiction/reality; the two-dimensional /three-dimensional and non-materiality /materialization. Yet his game of associations does not end here. Araújo uses records that function as intermediaries between the two artistic forms as his working material, such as reproductions of books and digital or printed photographs, among other things, forming an archive of fundamental works from the History of Art, just like a veritable Imaginary Museum going from works by major architects (particularly South-American ones like Niemeyer, Acayaba and Barragan) to visual artists (Alejandro Otero, Geraldo de Barros, Kandinsky, Calder, among others).”
—Carla de Utras Mendes, “The Tropical Place Where the Devil Sits,” Cristine Guerra website.
“Araújo’s paintings read as cut-out reproductions of texts and images from architecture magazines and art history books. Inside these collages of sorts there’s enough space for Le Corbusier, Luis Barragán or Lina Bo Bardi to collapse onto each other.
“The precise yet carefree quality of the paintings, allied to the humbleness of the materials (mostly small format pieces of paper, mounted on wood or hung by threads) manage to evade their photographic origin, pointing rather to the circulation as image of their source and their fragility. Marked by a somewhat expected, and therefore hackneyed conjunction of modernism and the tropics, such qualities offer an acute seductiveness to Araújo’s work.”
—Pedro Neves Marques, “Juan Araujo’s ‘La silla del diablo,” Kaleidoscope Blog, January 8, 2011.