Pure Pueblo

Carlos Madriz
6 March 2002 to 13 April 2002

Venezuelan painter and muralist Carlos Madriz called his exhibition of paintings “Pure Pueblo” to ‘represent all the good and bad things that make up Latin America’: it is ‘a “pure” expression of all that is “pueblo”, which can mean “town” or “the people, the common people.” The exhibition showcased his new paintings on canvas, as well as a temporary interior mural that he is making for The Brixton Studio education project. He takes as his subject matter what he sees around him in his daily life: ‘houses, markets, the media, people’s traditions, folklore, religion, social habits.’ His cultural background is a rich mixture of African, European and indigenous influences. He creates vibrant and expressive images using a method involving fragmentation and repetition combined with an innate feeling for colour, rhythm and composition.

International muralist Madriz, whose works can be seen in many cities around the world including San Francisco, Los Angeles and London, created the mural for the exterior of 198 Gallery. This replaceds the previous mural that graced the east-facing wall of the building for the last five years.

Education project
Integral to this exhibition is an education project delivered in partnership with the Photographers’ Gallery as part of London Arts’s pilot initiative New Audiences: Enabling Diversity Gateway programme. The project took as its starting point an ‘archive’ of studio portrait photographs by Harry Jacobs featuring Lambeth residents, many of Caribbean and African descent, taken over five decades (1957-1999). Madriz created an interior mural based on the ideas of students at Stockwell Park Secondary School, after which the participants made photographic portraits in front of this backdrop in workshops with artist Faisal Abdu’Allah. This interior mural was part of Madriz’s exhibition, and the young people’s photographs were exhibited in July in the gallery’s Urban Vision education project exhibition, and later during Black History Month in October 2002 at the same time as The Photographers’ Gallery’s exhibition of Harry Jacobs’s work.