In June 1925, the magazine Los Nuevos began circulating in Bogotá. It was run by a group of writers interested in politics, social affairs, criticism, art, and literature. While the magazine was short-lived, those who participated in the project went on to become important figures in different areas of Colombian culture. In this interview, critic Carlos Arturo Tapias Sánchez, who was involved in the magazine, voices a number of the concerns surrounding art at the time.
Specifically addressed here is the opposition between art based on 19th-century models largely irrelevant to reality and attempts, few though they may be, to break with those formulations in order to make way for authentic local art. Indianism is a primordial concern, since looking anxiously to foreign (transplanted) influences hinders the ability to seize on elements that afford a sense of belonging, like the indigenous past. For this reason, Tapias Sánchez sees the work of most of his contemporaries, even when they address the local landscape, as mere imitations of foreign models. He insists on the need not to look to old models exclusively, but instead to learn to recognize the value of the ornamental motifs found in indigenous vessels and jewelry, and to bring a modern sensibility to those designs. This, he asserts, is what has happened in Mexico and Peru. Indeed, art from Mexico has, as Tapias Sánchez points out, even had an influence on European centers.
Tapias Sánchez, unlike other critics in Colombia, reprimands artists, stating that lack of study, rivalries, and stinginess have an effect on economic outcome. In his view, the artist and his work play a central role in educating and orienting the public.