The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In 1988, on the occasion of the Primer Salón Nacional Cervecería de Oriente: Arte ingenuo, pintura y talla populares (Barcelona, state of Anzoáteguí), critic Francisco Da Antonio ponders concepts like “naive art,” “popular art,” and “high art,” and discusses the origins of the former in the Venezuelan territory. In Da Antonio’s view, popular art encompasses all expressions of popular culture: the making of necklaces, costumes, certain musical instruments, piñatas, etc. Although also a form of popular expression, naive art falls into the category of folk art “understood as the vast universe of the traditional culture of peoples [. . .] and as an expression of their cultural and social identity.” Following an analysis of all those forms of expression, Da Antonio addresses naive art from the twentieth century, specifically the work of Bárbaro Rivas, Feliciano Carballo, Víctor Millán, Rafael Vargas, and Antonio José Fernández, among others.
This essay by critic Francisco Da Antonio (b. 1930) examines the universe of naive art from Venezuela. It not only addresses the visual and formal issues at play in naive art, but also provides a historical perspective of it. The origins of naive art lie in what the author calls “classic art,” which he describes as an “allegedly marginal [style] found throughout the first half of the nineteenth century that makes use of points of reference taken from the reality in which artists are immersed.” In Da Antonio’s view, Juan Lovera is the best representative of naive art in Venezuela. The author also makes reference to naïve art from other countries (Cuba, Chile, and the United States), drawing parallels and pointing out differences.