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José Vívenes (Maturín, 1977) is a Venezuela-based painter. His work reconsiders the gaze given to collective references. Vívenes assumes painting as a means of communication to reflect on the complex circumstances that his country, Venezuela, is going through. The visual fable that Vívenes presents shows a “contemporary savage” immersed in the consequences of its actions. The reality he builds works as a metaphor of a legacy — a new “social imaginary” — of the twenty-first century. One of the main symbols Vívenes dissects is Simón Bolívar (also known as the Liberator), one of the main leaders of the Venezuelan independence wars in the nineteenth century.
Vívenes explores the historic, sociopolitical, and cultural actors and their actions by impregnating aspects of instinctual human behavior with memories of found objects, belongings, and an absence of geographical context. The grotesque plays a fundamental role within his compositions, representing a “history of calumny” imbued with sarcasm, irony, and satire.
Vívenes earned honorable mention recognition in the 12+1 Edition of the prestigious Eugenio Mendoza Awards (Venezuela) for his series Enough of False Heroes (2015); this series is a fragmented review of the glorified patriotic and heroic symbols of the Venezuelan culture. It works to demystify and criticize their imaginary and illusory components. Heroes With Pivots of What Will Happen (2016), exhibited in Room 6.19, shows symbols being manipulated and used by political groups as propaganda to control the population. In this work, multiple facets of the symbolic meaning of freedom are in frank confrontation with oppression.
His most recent exhibition, Felony (2019), invokes the kitsch and harsh tone of contemporary society as well as being a reflection of historiographical interference.
José Vívenes, is a Venezuela-based painter. He graduated from the Armando Reverón University Institute of Advanced Plastic Arts Studies (Caracas, Venezuela). Vívenes earned honorable mention recognition in the 12+1 Edition of the prestigious Eugenio Mendoza Awards (Venezuela) for his series Enough of False Heroes (2015). Among the acknowledgments Vívenes has received are the Francisco de Miranda Stock Exchange, I Exxon-Mobil Art Salon of Venezuela, Sacred Museum of Caracas, Eladio Alemán Sucre Award, 63rd Arturo Michelena Art Biennial, Mario Abreu XXVII and XXXIII Prize, Aragua National Art Salon, Museum of Contemporary Art of Maracay Mario Abreu. He currently resides and works in Caracas, Venezuela. https://vivenescollages.blogspot.com and http://vivenespintura.blogspot.com
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