South American Art & It’s Cultural Identity

What role does cultural identity play in the creation of art? Our sixth region focuses on the New World of the Western Hemisphere - South America.

South American Art

Without a doubt, South America is a cultural melting pot. The region has a diverse population and people from all over the world have come to live and work there. This provides an excellent opportunity for the country to experiment with new ways of living and doing things.

People in South America are always looking for inspiration. With all of these new ideas, the country is now home to some of the world’s most beautiful and well-known art forms.

Keep reading on to learn more about the cultural identity of South American art.

Introduction: What is the Cultural Identity of South America?

South American’s cultural identity is heavily influenced by the region’s diverse and rich history. Historically, indigenous peoples identified with the following regions:

  • The Andean region is known for its Incan, Moche, and Chimu-Incan cultures.
  • The Amazonian region is known for its Moche, Chimu-Incan, and Tiahuanaco cultures.
  • The Caribbean region is known for its Taino, Carib, and Arawak cultures.

The region of South America comprises twelve [12] countries and two non-sovereign entities: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands (United Kingdom), French Guiana (France), Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela

South America has a rich cultural heritage as a result of the intermarriage of races throughout its history. The Spanish conquest marks the beginning of blood and culture interaction and interpenetration. The aboriginal culture permeated the deep substratum of these people as conquerors mixed with natives. In short, their way of life pervaded every aspect of South American culture, from crafts to work to psychology.

The conquerors imposed their European cultural imperialism, including economic, political, and ideological structures, with the Catholic religion serving as the foundation. Similarly, the implantation of the Castilian and Portuguese languages, which are excellent cultural vehicles, was widespread.

African traditions can be seen in the fusion of African gods and traditional Catholic saints. A prominent position in the work of art, as well as the blending of African musical rhythms and European harmonic structure.

  • On the subject of Saints; and namesakes, did you know that Saint Adrian (and his wife Natalia of Nicomedia), was a Herculian Guard of the Roman Emperor Galerius Maximian in the early fourth century. Saint Adrian was also the Patron Saint of plague, epilepsy, arms dealers, butchers, guards, and soldiers!

  • The eighth century brought us another namesake, St. Adrian of Canterbury. A North African scholar in Anglo-Saxon England and the abbot of Saint Peter’s and Saint Paul’s in Canterbury.

I digress, but there are many countries in this region of the world that share common historical roots and problems. In this interconnected geography, each one, however, exhibits its own distinct characteristics: unity, diversity, and individuality.

"I have said School of the South; because, in reality, our north is the South. There should be no north, for us, but in opposition to our South. That is why we now turn the map upside down, and then we have a fair idea of our position, and not as they want in the rest of the world. The tip of America, from now on, prolonging itself, insistently points to the South, our north."

Joaquín Torres García

The History of South American Art

South American art has a rich history. South America has many different cultures, each with its own style of visual arts.

Pre-Columbian artefacts dating back at least 14,000 years have been discovered in both North and South America. South America’s indigenous peoples created a wide range of works in gold, silver, and ceramics. These works were frequently religious in nature, created for ceremonial purposes or to commemorate significant events.

The art of the Incas, for example, is distinct from that of the Aztecs. The Inca people’s art is mostly architectural in nature and made of stone. The Aztec people’s art, on the other hand, is primarily made of clay and is religious in nature.

The indigenous cultures of the continent, as well as European and African influences, have shaped the art.

Inspired by South American Pottery | Ceramic Vessel By Adrian Reynolds 1992
Inspired by South American Pottery | Ceramic Vessel By Adrian Reynolds, 1992

What Kind of Art Comes From South America?

Many facts must be considered in order to answer this question. Argentina and Uruguay, for example, share similarities in that they were both colonised by Spain, so both countries will have a degree of Spanish culture. The sharing of the Rio de la Plata is another feature that defines the border between these two countries. Following that, other examples for each country must be considered. For example, each individual country, such as Brazil, has its own distinct and vibrant culture.

South American art’s cultural identity is the result of interaction between indigenous and European cultures. The indigenous culture has influenced the look and feel of South American art. At the same time, European culture has influenced it through colonisation and trade. This explains why there are so many different types of South American art.

South American art is well-known for its numerous cultural movements. Prior to the arrival of European explorers, these began with the Incas and their artistic style. Following that, it was influenced by a variety of European countries, as well as African art. South American art is best appreciated today during its festivals, especially during carnivals.

South American Art and it’s Cultural Influence on the World

Cultures around the world obviously differ depending on where they are, and South America is no exception.

South American art is often distinguished by its use of bright colours and natural materials such as wood and stone. South Americans have been creating art for as long as they have been alive, as art is an essential part of daily life.

South American art’s cultural identity has influenced the world in numerous ways. By teaching people to appreciate the beauty of simplicity and the power of nature, we can improve everything from the food we eat to the clothes we wear and even the way we look at life.

Characteristics of South American Art Used to Express Cultural Identity

When it comes to defining their cultural identity, South Americans do not look to the similarities they have historically shared with mainstream European models. The countries in question seek a culture that incorporates all of these influences, which distinguishes them and Latin American artists.

1. Spiritual Art Expresses Cultural Identity

The language of South American culture is syncretic, cultivated by numerous cultural traditions; however, it is essentially European in origin, assimilated and transformed. The cultural idiosyncrasies of South Americans are as real as a clenched fist.

Furthermore, they correspond to the origins of Hispanic art in the Americas as well as the early formation of the nations of this continent.

It is a valuable testament to the religious zeal of painters and artisans who communicated a world of hope and reconciliation.

These works arose in a South America where colonisation faced the challenge of evangelising populations who already held their own beliefs.

Aztec Empire

The Aztecs inhabited what is now known as Mexico and the southwestern United States. People are still learning about the Aztecs’ unique blend of religious practises and traditions, as they were a very sophisticated culture. They were a very religious people, and religion was very important in their lives. They had a complex god and goddess system, and they believed that everything in the world was connected to the divine realm.

The sun, according to the Aztecs, was the centre of the universe and would be reborn every day. Huitzilopochtli, the supreme god, was represented by a bird that symbolised the sun, according to their religious beliefs.

The Aztecs also believed that the sun was the source of all life and that humans were not born on Earth but were placed there to care for the sun. The sun was thought to be composed of the four elements and a fifth element, the life force.

The Aztecs also considered the sun to be the source of life and to have a direct relationship with humans. According to Aztec legend, the Aztecs were once ruled by a god named Quetzalcoatl, who was the sun god. Quetzalcoatl shared many characteristics with Huitzilopochtli.

Inca Empire

The Incas were great cultural innovators, creating a complex social, economic, religious, and political structure that encouraged cooperation rather than competition. The Inca Empire was largely devoid of money and markets. Instead, goods and services were exchanged between individuals and groups, as well as between Inca rulers and their subjects, on the basis of reciprocity.

They were also great architects and builders, and they built a revolutionary system of roads and canals for their time.

The Incas were extremely religious, with numerous ceremonies and rituals, believing that their king, the Sapa Inca, was a direct descendant of the sun god.

The Inca civilization arose in the Peruvian highlands in the early 13th century and, at its peak, spanned from Quito to Chile. The conquistadors of Spain began their conquest of the empire in 1532, and it was completely conquered by 1572.

Nazca Empire

The Nazca culture (also known as Nasca) is a pre-Incan culture that existed from 100 BC to 800 AD. This is found in South America’s Andes region. Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Chile are among the countries involved.

For centuries, the Nazca people thrived alongside Peru’s arid southern coast in the river valleys of the Rio Grande de Nazca drainage and the Ica Valley.

The Nazca culture is very different from the Andean culture. This is evident in the work of the Nazca people. They are best known for their pottery, which is distinct from Andean pottery. The soil from the Valle de la Muerte is used to make the Nazca pottery. A Nazca pot, for example, would be made of desert sand and decorated with a mud pattern. The Nazca are also well-known for their textiles. They make use of the bright colours and geometric designs found in their textiles. Cotton, wool, and a type of plant fibre are used to make these textiles.

The Nazca culture was primarily one of religion. They believed that an all-powerful creator god named Viracocha created the world and then abandoned it. The sun was the ruler of this culture. They believed that because there was no life on Earth, the dead were sent to an afterlife.

The Nazca culture is known for its one-of-a-kind art, which includes geoglyphs that are thought to be an attempt to map out the world.

Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines are a collection of pre-Columbian geoglyphs found in the Nazca Desert of southern Peru. The Nazca culture is thought to have drawn the lines between 500 BC and AD 500. By removing the reddish pebbles and exposing the white sand beneath, they are etched into the ground.

The mysterious lines are located in a remote region of Peru, approximately 200 miles southeast of Lima. In 1926, Toribio Mejia Xesspe was the first to conduct a systematic study of the lines.

Over 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures, and 70 animal and plant designs, also known as biomorphs, cover an area of nearly 1,000 square kilometres. Some straight lines extend for up to 30 miles, while biomorphs range in length from 50 to 1200 feet.

Commercial planes flying over Peru in the 1930s first brought the lines and figures to public attention.

Nobody knows for certain what these ancient geoglyphs represent, but many people have theories. Some believe the lines between the figures represent constellations or deities, while others believe they are sacred roads. These markings could be indicators of a valuable water source in the high desert, or they could be symbols from an ancient farming calendar.

The ‘Alien’ Mummies of Nazca

The Nazca ‘alien’ mummies are one of the most mysterious archaeological discoveries in recent history.

Gaia filmmakers joined researchers and scientists just outside of Nazca, Peru, in the spring of 2017 to investigate unearthed mummified bodies, led by Mexican ufologist and journalist Jamie Maussan.

These small, mummified beings have large heads and eyes, and are thought to be either a primitive human with an intentional or developmental deformity, or undeniable evidence that a non-human species exists, with allegedly some characteristics closer to reptiles than humans.

A number of independent scientists and universities have analysed DNA, X-Rays, and CAT scan data, and they believe that the material discovered is unlike anything found in the fossil record. So far, five mummies have been discovered, with carbon dates ranging from 235 to 410 AD.

It remains to be seen whether this is a hoax or a fraud. Only conclusive, scientifically verifiable evidence of extraterrestrial life will be able to prove one way or the other.

Mayan Empire

The Mayan culture is one steeped in history and tradition. This culture’s people are known for their intricate artwork, love of music, and strong family ties.

There is no single religious foundation in Mayan culture. Instead, their belief systems are influenced by a variety of sources, including the Aztecs and the Incan Empire. Mayans believe that the earth is one of many realms, which explains why they do not worship a single god.

The Mayan culture is also distinct from other South American cultures in that it is not based on a single language. Instead, the Mayans speak one of the Mayan language family’s more than 25 languages. Most Mayans prefer their native language to Spanish or English.

The Mayans were widely regarded as one of the most advanced and influential civilizations of their time. Chichen Itza was a large pre-Columbian Maya city built during the Terminal Classic period. One of the most famous monuments at Chichen Itza is the Temple of Kukulcán (El Castillo), which dominates the centre of the archaeological site.

One of the most important aspects that contributed to the Mayans’ influence was their art. Their art is culturally significant to Mexico and the rest of the world. Murals and mosaics were common forms of their art. The majority of the art found in Oaxaca was in the form of a painting.

Moche Empire

From around 100 to 800 CE, the Moche culture flourished in northern Peru. They left behind impressive architecture, such as adobe pyramid temples, irrigation systems, and beautiful pottery.

The Moche culture is an ancient civilization from Peru’s coast that was ruled by an elite class of people known as the “Moche Lords.” Much of what has been discovered about Moche Culture is characterised by a rich artistic tradition. This can be seen in their artwork, which is known for its rich gold and copper work and provides a strong visual representation of their society.

2. Photographic Expressions of Cultural Identity

Photographers documented indigenous peoples and distinct social types, such as Argentina’s gauchos, on film.

Guy Veloso and José Bassit capture Brazilian religiosity on film. Mario Testino is a well-known Peruvian fashion photographer, and Ecuadoran Hugo Cifuentes has also gained recognition.

Selk’nam People

The Selk’nam were a group of hunter-gatherers who lived in South America’s Tierra del Fuego region. They were one of the last peoples to be contacted by Europeans, and they became extinct in the early twentieth century.

The presence of both significant gold deposits in the sands of Tierra del Fuego’s main rivers, and large ranchers attempted to drive the Selk’nam off their lands. A campaign of extermination against them, known as the Selk’nam genocide, began with the complicity of the Argentine and Chilean governments.

Martín Gusinde, a priest and ethnologist from Austria, arrived in Tierra del Fuego in 1919. His mission was to convert the Indians with whom he lived; however, he had the opposite effect. He would be one of the first Westerners to be initiated into the sacred rites of the Indian tribes.

Gusinde studied the cultures of the Alakaluf, Yamana, and Selk’nam peoples for five years, from the canals of Western Patagonia to the great island of Tierra del Fuego. He was so taken with what he saw that he took over a thousand photos, which he developed in a portable darkroom, these images were published in a book in 2015.

Songs and chants of the indigenous peoples of Tierra del Fuego Indians were also recorded for the Berlin Phonogram Archive. These are the only remaining audio recordings and have been inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Memory of the World (MoW) programme.

3. Dance as an Expression of Cultural Identity

Cultural identity extends beyond the clothes we wear and the language we speak. It is the way we carry ourselves, our expressions, and our mannerisms. South America is home to some of the world’s most distinct cultures, and the region’s artists are renowned for their distinct aesthetic. It is easy to see how dance has played a central role in developing this distinct regional style as the following demonstrate:

  • Venezuela’s Tamunangue – Developed by the union of four cultures: indigenous, Spanish, African, and Chibcha, according to some practitioners.
  • The Chilean Cueca – A dance where the dancers (man and woman), carry a handkerchief in their right hand.
  • The Tango – Originating in Argentina / Uruguay, is a dance performed by couples, combining elements of Afro-Rioplatense, Gaucho, South American, and European dances.
  • The Bolivian Carnavalito – An ensemble dance choreographed to the rhythm of the music, this is a dance performed by several couples in groups.
  • The Colombian Cumbia – A musical rhythm and traditional folkloric dance of Colombia. It has contents from three cultural backgrounds, mainly indigenous and black African and, to a lesser extent, Spanish.

"The foundation for the invention of art is space: the work has to be a living entity, and in order to perceive it, one has to move around".

Carlos Cruz-Diez

4. Music Expresses Cultural Identity

South American rhythms have found widespread acceptance in music.

Some of the rhythms that this region has contributed to the world are: the Argentine Tango, the Uruguayan Murga, the Colombian Vallenato, the Colombian and Peruvian Cumbia, the music of the Andean highlands, the rhythms of drums and the Venezuelan Pajarillo and Joropo, the Chilean Cueca, the Brazilian Bossa Nova, the Calypso and the Soca of the Antilles.

At the end of the 1950s, social conflicts sparked what became known as “the new Latin American song” in South American music. It presented a recurring feature and message, allowing it to reach a large and diverse audience.

The musicians and poets shared the same ideals as they emerged from two musical lines: folkloric and urban popular music. Because of the historical situation in South America, socioeconomic and cultural emancipation was pursued.

In Chile, Violeta, Isabel, and Ángel Parra collaborated with the late Victor Jara; in Brazil, Gilberto Gil, Geraldo Vaudré, Caetano Veloso, and Chico Buarque; in Argentina, Mercedes Sosa; in Uruguay, Daniel Viglietti; in Venezuela, Gloria Marn; and in Peru, Tania Libertad, among others.

5. Respect for Well-Known South American Art Styles and Techniques

South American art styles and techniques are known for their artisanship and beauty. Many well-known artists have drawn inspiration from the region, and their work is in high demand among collectors.

South American Painting

South American art encompasses all of South America’s visual arts. South American painting is an art form that has been practised for centuries. It allows indigenous cultures to express their cultural identity as well as their connection to the land. It includes pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial art, as well as modern art.

South America’s indigenous cultures have been producing art for thousands of years. The most famous examples are Peru’s Nazca Lines and the Inca city of Machu Picchu.

South American Contemporary Artists

South America’s contemporary art scene is diverse and complex. It is shaped by the various cultures, traditions, and histories of the countries that comprise this region.

In this section, we will look at some of the most important South American contemporary artists. We will also talk about their work and how it relates to their cultural identity:

  • Fernando Botero Angulo is a Medelln-born Colombian figurative artist and sculptor. His signature style, also known as “Boterismo,” depicts people and figures in large, exaggerated volume, which, depending on the piece, can represent political criticism or humour.
  • Roberto Sebastián Antonio Matta Echaurren, better known as Roberto Matta, was a well-known Chilean painter and a pivotal figure in abstract expressionist and surrealist art in the twentieth century.
  • Delesio Antonio Berni was a figurative artist from Argentina. He is associated with the Nuevo Realismo movement, a Latin American extension of social realism.

The paintings are usually brightly coloured and depict scenes from daily life, such as hunting, fishing, farming, or ceremonies. The paintings are also used to convey information about the people’s history and beliefs..

South American Jewellery

Jewellery has been around for centuries as a form of art. It is a means of expressing one’s cultural identity and displaying one’s wealth. South American jewellery is no exception.

South American jewellery has its origins in the continent’s indigenous cultures, which are still very much alive today. The South American contemporary art movement has had an impact on the jewellery industry as well, with many artists using precious metals and stones to create pieces that are both beautiful and meaningful.

South American Textiles

South American textiles reflect the cultural identities of the people who live there. The textile industry is one of South America’s most important industries. It is also one of the region’s oldest industries.

For centuries, the textile industry has been an important part of South American culture. Indigenous cultures have been weaving clothing and fabric for thousands of years and still do so today.

South American Art Movements

European and North American art movements have heavily influenced South American art movements. However, there has been a growing movement of artists in recent decades who are interested in exploring their own cultural heritage and creating works that reflect their own experiences and perceptions.

Constructivism

Joaquín Torres García and Manuel Rendón have been credited with bringing the Constructivist Movement from Europe, to South America.

Anthropophagism

Associated with the 1960s Brazilian art movement Tropicália, anthropophagia means cannibalism. Although deeply rooted in Brazilian indeguos themes, it refers to art that takes influence from both Europe and the United States. Representative artists: Tarsila do Amaral, Anita Malfatti.

Op Art/Cinetism

Is a style of visual art that makes use of optical illusions. Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jesus Rafael Soto, Alejandro Otero from Venezuela, Cristian Mac Entyre, Karina Peisajovich, Christian Wloch Julio Le Parc and Fabián Burgos from Argentina, Matilde Pérez from Chile, Omar Rayo from Colombia.

Costumbrism

In Spanish America, the costumbrism, which emerged from the educated Creole classes, is associated with the creation of a collective identity. This movement precedes attitudes often linked to nationalism and regionalism.

Neo-Concrete

A Brazilian art movement that split from the Concrete Art movement that swept South America and the world over. It came out of Rio de Janeiro’s Grupo Frente. They rejected the purely rationalist approach to Concrete Art and embraced a more phenomenological and less scientific art. Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Pape were among the prominent leaders of this movement.

Madí

An abstract art movement founded in 1946 in La Plata, Buenos Aire. Founded by the Uruguayan artists Carmelo Arden Quin (plastic artist and writer), Rhod Rothfuss (plastic artist) and Gyula Kosice, a Hungarian-Argentine poet and painter.

This interesting movement should be adopted by all branches of art. It takes “creation” and “invention” to an extreme level, to free artistic creation from the “external” limitations of the art itself. The artistic group were devoted to pure geometric abstraction.

Geometric Abstraction

Is based on the use of simple geometric shapes combined in subjective compositions on unreal spaces. Some references are Egar Negret and Eduardo Villamizar from Venezuela, and Manuel Rendón from Ecuador.

Surrealism

An exhibition by Peruvian poets César Moro and Emilio Adolfo Westphalen was held in Lima, Peru, in 1935, and is regarded as the first of its kind in South America.

6. Stone Carvings and Sculptures from South America

South American sculpture is an art form that has been practised for centuries. It allows indigenous cultures to express their cultural identity as well as their connection to the land.

Sculptures are frequently made of clay, stone, wood, or metal. They are usually made by hand and can be very large or very small. The sculptures are frequently used as religious objects or as decorative items in homes and public places.

  • Lola Mora (Argentina) was commissioned to create the sculptures which would decorarigoure courtyard of Casa de la Independencia in San Miguel de Tucumán.
  • Eloy Palacios (Venezuela): In the early years, the creation of religious images made of woodcarvings continued to be traditional in Venezuela. Later, Greco-Roman antiquity models were imitated, representing human figures with weights similar to those used in classical statues.
  • Rodrigo Arenas Betancourt (Colombia): One of the most prolific and appreciated Colombian artists, nationally and internationally. His bronzes are characterized for being gigantic, melodramatic and spectacular; they are located throughout the Colombian geography.
  • Fernando Botero (Colombia): A painter, sculptor and drafter. With unmistakable signs of identity, such as his voluptuous and disproportionate human bodies.
  • Pérez Celis (Argentina): His work was expressed through painting, sculpture, muralism and engraving. He developed an abstract style, resorting to the fusion of aesthetic lines of the Andean Amerindian cultures with the international plastic avant-garde.
  • Carlo Regazzoni (Argentina): His work features railroad tracks and discarded wagons, making him an alternative artist who uses remnants from railways.

7. Architecture Styles in South America

South American architecture is a mash-up of various cultures and styles. South America’s indigenous people have lived in this region for thousands of years, and their culture has had a significant impact on the architecture of this continent. Many of the buildings are designed to reflect their cultural identity, with symbols from their traditional art incorporated into the design.

South American architecture has been influenced by indigenous cultures. The Spanish colonisers also left their mark on the architecture of the region.

In recent years, new values have emerged that are distinguished by the technical rigour of works made from local materials. The desire to be free of consumerism dynamics, false stereotypes about national identity, and the dialogue with the urban context.

Furthermore, they oppose the generalised unculture of speculative dynamics, which dominates much of the continent’s constructive production.

Carlos Raúl  Villanueva proposed an integrative synthesis of the avant-garde of the plastic arts and architecture at the headquarters of the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) in Caracas (1952-1955).

Brazilian public works focused heavily on finding a national expression through mature architecture. University courses in architecture were regarded as important because of their link to intellectual, technical, and scientific advancement.

The new governments’ progressive orientation was marked by monumental urban icons in Chile and Peru, in addition to carrying out social works.

Unlike the First World’s cosmopolitan language, this architecture reaffirmed the geographical and cultural identities of the local communities.

The development of an indigenous language in Argentina resulted in the formation of the ‘white houses’ movement. Claudio Caveri, who promoted the Tierra Cooperative in the province of Buenos Aires, was at the helm of this.

In his designs, Uruguayan engineer Eladio Dieste combined tradition and modernity. The light-layer bricks of Atlantis’ churches of Cristo Obrero and Nuestra Seora de Lourdes earned him a reputation for elegance.

8. Literary Expressions of South American Cultural Identity

Its roots are in European language and literary traditions, as well as in South America’s physical landscape and cultures. European colonists documented their experiences in the New World in the 17th century.

Many writers were inspired to write works that reflected their lives and concerns as South American colonies declared independence from Europe in the early nineteenth century.

Early South American novelists and poets favoured Europe’s Romantic tradition, which emerged in the nineteenth century. As a result, more realism and attention to ordinary people’s daily lives emerged, as did a strong desire for social and political reform.

Magical realism, as the name implies, incorporates supernatural elements into a previously more realistic story. During the second half of the twentieth century, many South American authors adopted this style. Gabriel Garca Márquez, a Colombian writer, is one of the most well-known authors in this genre.

Since the 1940s and the 1960s boom period, South American literature has become more widely available around the world.

9. South American Cinema Reflects Cultural Identity

The new Latin American cinema was born in the 1960s as a cinema phenomenon. The main influences on this phenomenon are Italian neorealism and other social cinema movements. Its purpose was to oppose American models in favour of the contradictory reality. It was the possibility of re-establishing continental cinematography, a new cinema.

During the late 1960s, some of South America’s most influential film directors emerged. Brazilian Flaubert Rocha, Argentine Fernando Solanas, and Chileans Raúl Ruiz, Miguel Littín and Lautaro Murúa are among them.

In contrast to the “national” cinema of the 1930s-1960s, the “auteur cinema” influenced the New Latin American Cinema. This was in stark contrast to the commercial mechanisms of the “show business” system.

Brazil and Mexico are the leaders in film production, with numerous films produced in Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Lucrecia Martel, Juan José Campanella (Argentina), Alejandro Jodorowsky (Chile), Fernando Meirelles (Brazil), Natalia Smirnoff (Argentina), Lucia Puenzo (Argentina), and Ana Carolina Texeira (Brazil) are some great references in today’s cinema.

"The fascination for theatre entered my soul thanks to three events that deeply marked my childhood soul: I participated in the funeral of a fireman, I saw an epileptic seizure, and I heard the Chinese prince sing".

Alejandro Jodorowsky

10. Theatre Showcases South American Culture

The indigenous people were introduced to the divine through pre-Hispanic rituals. In the 17th century, the Spanish used theatrical works to Christianize and integrate Native American peoples into Spanish society. Vice-regal theatre became a political element in Hispanic America because it was an effective tool for teaching a population accustomed to spectacle.

Theatre provided an opportunity for aboriginal peoples to participate in a new form of entertainment. While theatrical works promoted a new sacred order, their primary goal was to support a new secular political order.

In the twentieth century, the dramaturgical structures of social projects tended to favour the construction of a more indigenous South American base known as “Nuestra America.” From the Teatro del Pueblo, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile create prototypes of independent theatre.

Some sectors of South American theatre sought more homogeneous definitions based on European models, while others focused on indigenous doctrines. The line of search for expression rooted in the history of South America is affirmed.

Conclusion: The Value of Understanding South American Art

The rich history of South American art is a treasure trove of information for those interested in the region’s cultural identity. Exploring this art can provide you with a much better understanding of the people and their traditions.

Art serves as a bridge and a driving force in communication. The artist’s creations convey emotions and messages and inspire us to reflect on our lives, social problems, and general life.

Because art reflects human culture, it helps to preserve and transmit cultural heritage from generation to generation. Furthermore, art is subjective, communicating in a universal language that everyone understands and appreciates. Today’s education is still based on historical artistic works because these – in their various manifestations – have never lost their societal importance.

The diverse work of South American artists is well worth investigating. Anyone looking to expand their artistic vocabulary should be exposed to the influences of this part of the world.

I hope you enjoyed my blog on the cultural identities of South American artists and learned more about South American culture, what art means, and had the opportunity to appreciate its beauty. Finally, I invite you to read The Influence of Cultural Identity on the Creation of Art, the series’ introductory piece.

I enjoy hearing from my readers, so please get in touch if you have any questions or comments.

Thank you for your time.

The Lost Tribes of Tierra del Fuego: Selk’nam, Yamana, Kawésqar
Publisher ‏: ‎ Thames and Hudson Ltd; 1st edition (30 Mar. 2015)
Language ‏: ‎ English (& French Version)
Hardcover ‏: ‎ 300 pages
ISBN-10 ‏: ‎ 0500544468
ISBN-13 ‏: ‎ 978-0500544464

The Battle of The 3 Legged Dog and Blue Blob v…..

A stunning and unique wall hanging.

Adrian Reynolds is a Dublin based abstract artist. His paintings are a response to the world that surrounds us. A world that is changing faster than ever before. His work is an exploration of colour, form and texture, placing his work at the intersection between abstraction and representation. His work has been featured in Ireland, the UK and the US.

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