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Juan Calzadilla discusses the work of the painter José Campos Biscardi, explaining how hard it was for him to be acknowledged in the Venezuelan art world because he was originally from Colombia. The author attributes it to the fact that Campos resisted the lure of fads and fashions, and instead, created complex works using a limited vocabulary of forms to express his own particular language of drawn and colored symbols that, according to Calzadilla, make him one of the most original, albeit little-known, representatives of New Figuration in Venezuela.  


In his essay in the catalogue for Campos, the exhibition of works by the Colombian painter José Campos Biscardi (b. 1944) (Caracas: Galería Living Art, 1973), the critic Juan Calzadilla (b. 1931) questions the parameters used to judge a work of art at a national level, taking as a given that the parameters in no way indicate the true value of creativity, and are in fact designed to please a fashion-crazy following. The author bases his challenge on the fact that an artist like Campos Biscardi—who, with painstaking thoroughness, works with the two or three symbol forms he uses to make his art—is not recognized in Venezuela because he does not deliver the latest innovation. 


While this document pays token attention to the formal and conceptual aspects of the artist’s work, it sharply criticizes the decisions of the “experts” who evaluate the potential of a work of art in Venezuela.  

Maria Virginia Pineda Aranda
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Reproduced with permission of Juan Calzadilla, Caracas, Venezuela