Paintings by Marcial Alegría are on display in the National Museum's 'New Acquisitions' room. Algería, born in 1936, farmed and fished in San Sebastian, Cordoba, before finally teaching himself to paint.
His style is what I believe is called naive', (childlike), or 'primitive.' But some might also call it naive for its idealized vision of country life (judged, at least, from these examples) and perhaps also a bit insensitive and even sexist, as for example in 'Pagando Gustos Cumplidos' (Pleasures Paid For), which shows a woman giving birth in public. Must her male lover pay anything?
Alegría's work makes a dramatic contrast to the often jarring work of polemic painter Debora Arango, whose images, also in the National Museum now, are charged with denunciations of violence and exploitation in Colombian history.
Here, Alegría recounts that his maternal grandfather was from Japan and that his mother had eight children. Alegría became inspired to paint by a child painter he saw in a movie. "If that boy can paint," he told himself, "then I can too." But Alegría didn't appreciate the potential in his works until the day a foreigner appeared and paid him $200 for one.
|A woman gives birth in public, 'Paying for Pleasures Fulfilled.'|
|A bucolic country scene.|
|Close-up of a country home with a yard-full of chickens.|
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours