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In this article, the critic Natalia Gutiérrez reviews a number of works by Alberto Baraya, such as his photomontages in Proyecto recorridos (1997–98), Mitificación artificial de una pintura (1998), Herbario de plantas artificiales (2002-), and Mimosas (2005). In her review, Gutiérrez suggests that the Colombian artist acts as a collector who gathers up and displays signs, rather than someone who invents meanings for those signs. In the critic’s opinion, this strategy allows the artist to show what was already visible but nobody wanted to see. This review was included in the book about Baraya's work that was published in 2006 by the Colombian office of the financial entity UBS AG (Association of Swiss Banks). This book was one of a collection of volumes created to promote the work of a group of noted contemporary Colombian artists.
This review by Natalia Gutiérrez (b. 1954) of works by Alberto Baraya (b. 1968) is important because unlike other similar articles, this one addresses his art from the perspective of photography, a resource that Baraya uses frequently and that is also of great interest to this Colombian critic, as can be seen in other research projects of hers, such as the publication ciudad?espejo [see doc. no. 1132917 and doc. no. 1132901]. In this document, Gutiérrez reflects on this subject, and also expresses her critical view of Baraya as a photographer. She presents Baraya’s use of photography as a strategy to show the complexity of each moment in order to reveal the emotions and elements that are involved.
Baraya is a remarkable artist whose work has been shown at many exhibitions and important events in Colombia and farther afield. He was awarded the Reina Sofía scholarship for
postgraduate studies, sponsored by the Government of Spain, and the “Top Graduates” scholarship from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He has also worked as an art professor at the Universidad de Los Andes and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, both of which are in Bogotá.
Natalia Gutiérrez studied anthropology at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, and the history and theory of architecture and art at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, also in Bogotá. She has worked as an art critic and a university professor, and currently (in 2010) is at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Her master’s thesis Cruces, arte, artista: José Alejandro Restrepo (2000) [see doc. no. 1091801] was published by the mayor’s office in Bogotá. Additional documents on the work of Alberto Baraya can be found at: [(1) doc. no. 1132176, and doc. no. 1132048].