Homegrown Art

ANTON

Gonzalo Anton

Gonzalo has the sort of dedication, determination and balls you really have to admire. At the age of 25 he decided to turn his back on a successful web design company, lock himself in a studio and start a new career as an artist. Pretty gutsy move for someone who had never studied art. But perhaps even more ballsy was his unsolicited call to the world’s most important modern art fair – the Art Basel in Switzerland. Most artists spend their lifetime trying to get to this fair so for an amateur artist from a small town near the foothills of the Andes in Argentina, to call up out of the blue asking for a stand at the fair, the organizers were – to say the least – a little surprised. But one organizer threw him a bone and invited him to an art event in Miami from where he made his own contacts in the art world and has now created his own cult following of collectors in the US. His work varies in style and technique, but there is a strong leaning towards the importance of rich and thick textures, quality materials and open abstract meanings. You can see some of his enormous pieces at the Sheraton in the city centre and Entre Cielos restaurant in Vistalba. www.gonzaloanton.com  His workshop is in Chacras, call for visits: (261) 15 6607 531

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Fernando Jereb 

A lot of artists in Mendoza add some sort of wine symbols to make their work sell better to tourists, but with Fernando’s art you can see that his love of wine isn’t just canvas deep. Having made his own garage wine for 10 years, he is a big wine lover and although he has been painting for over 20 years it is recently that he has starting integrating his two passions into one: art and wine. His earlier works reflect his study in architecture, but in the last decade Fernando has focused on the cork, or the ‘guardian of wine’. He recreates the stunning textures and deep colours of corks as well as using actual old corks from bottles of wine he has enjoyed in collages. Some of the most visually engaging of his art series are his paintings of cork houses – with entire imaginary worlds created inside a cork. Colourful Andes landscapes also set the background for abstract floating cork sail boats. Playful, melancholic and pure fantasy, Jereb is a quintessential Mendocinean artist who you shouldn’t miss. Catch Jereb’s work at wineries Carinae, Zuccardi, Pulenta Estate, Antucura and Tapiz, as well as large murials in the Maipu Arena Casino and Walmart. www.artejereb.blogspot.com His workshop is in the 5th section of the city, call for visits: (261) 15 541 3100

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Roberto Rosas

Rosas is a reference point for sculpture in Argentina. Born from a very humble family in Villanueva, Mendoza, he was always different from his six brothers and sisters – he didn’t like dancing or football and had little interest in going out, instead he preferred to sit in a quiet corner with his paints from a young age. Creating his own home and workshop in Bermejo, Guaymallen, he has focused on sculpture since he was 30 and has reached great critical acclaim since then. Now 73 years old, he is still a very productive artist and visiting his workshop and home is like stepping into Pan’s Labyrinth. Weird, wonderful and often dark sculptures fill the house and garden creating a mythological fantasy world. This is a real ‘must’ for art lovers in Mendoza. Visit his stunning workshop at Mathus Hoyos 4447, call for reservations on (261) 451 1605

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Luis Quesada

Only a year shy of his 90th birthday, Luis Quesada is quite rightly known as one of the ‘maestros de los maestros’ (master/teacher of the masters) of art in Mendoza. Still working as a painter, sculptor, print artist and jewelry maker – Quesada has had a very productive life and has been a huge influence on different artistic movements in Argentina. As a young boy instead of going to school one day he decided to take a walk in the countryside. Pottering along he found a cow hide and put himself to work making lots of different trinkets for his family, and there his life as an artisan and artist began. His trademark styles have since moved from still life paintings, to enormous laminate sculptures of birds and women, and his well known prints. Colourful, bold and quirky, his workshop and home is a delight to visit if you get the chance. http://www.ituzaingoresto.com.ar Contact Gonzalo Cuervo for a visit on (261) 562-8667

By Amanda Barnes

Published in the April/May 2012 edition of Wine Republic

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