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Mauricio versus Venegas
Neuroaesthetics and semiotics through the portrait.

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By Mª del Socorro MoraC de Asmat*

The position of the artist is humble - in essence, it is not more than a conduit.
Piet Mondrian


© Francisco Mauricio, Adolfo Venegas.

PIURA CITY, Peru - If we reflect about  how evolves the featuring of the face  along the History of the Art, we will realise that in Pre-History , individualities were not featured.


© Francisco Mauricio, Adolfo Venegas.

A fertility goddess did not need a face - we suppose she symbolized the respect to the mistery of life. A shaman was not himself  - he was totem, guide, sacred animal,  he was the chosen one who could give life to a mask. It had a meaning for the group that trascended its own existence.


© Francisco Mauricio.

After the Agrarian Revolution, faces featuring - whether similar or not- began  in the History of Art due to different causes: power, memory, status, trascendence, etc.


© Francisco Mauricio.

Now in the age of the selfie or express self-portraits, Mauricio and venegas, Peruvian artists of recognized career, dare to see through the camera  to poke around  our ephemeral existence  by an apparently easy  photographic genre but that the very-well trained eye  and an exquisite sensibility make possible to get, never best said - to catch the frame.


© Francisco Mauricio.

Biology and semiotics join when we ask about  the particularities of our faces, those make us unique and unrepeteable (although the identical twins  look like similar when their lives start,  then the environma  will be modeling them  according to their tastes and circumstances - our face is our  biography).


© Adolfo Venegas.

The scientists ask about the evolutive importance of our faces and they state that as Sapiens  we have gotten  more variety of faces than our predecesors. The whole meaning of our gestures, our smiles, our lookings, have a weight on our species that any other one has. Our faces speak and communicate something: happiness, sadness, tireness, contempt, angriness,  serenity, surprise - everytime.


© Adolfo Venegas.

The whole sensuality existing on a face is an evolutive trick of our species for achieving the supreme task - surviving.



© Adolfo Venegas.

Yes, from  the evolutive perspective, the beautiness helps us to survive in this chaotic world. Our artists bring us through their works to a world of order and harmony  where we all would settle down.


© Adolfo Venegas.

Both artists Mauricio and Venegas, now at a visual counterpoint, have an important quality: treating the photography daring and freely, but over  a good compositive basis, with elements  of  visual fundaments own in all visual arts: texture, color, shape, visual trace, and implicit message make  those portraits transmit us  many sensations and questions about beings those we know  we do not meet, and however they are so closer to us for being part of a little and intimate world -  our homeland.

They are a mean which get us closer  to memes  those beings transmit us: an instrument, a conduit not to forget such many diversity, like so great photographers do around the world  as Steve McCurry, Lee Jeffries, Jimmy Nelsson and Lisa Kristine.

Here we have the excellence of Mauricio and Venegas' works, apparently simple but with  a subtlety that transmits the greatness of our gens surviving many fates like the last El Niño Event , what follows to celebrate the life and its contrasts , not giving up so far.

* Doctor in Fine Arts, member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA as in Spanish).

Also appreciate: Today we'll paint about El Niño.
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