Curated by Norma Márquez
In collaboration with Marte247 Galería and Marte247 ARTFUND
Trust becomes real when bonds are forged based on honesty, collective work and a desire to build bridges between continents. This premise underpins these new initiatives that connect the traditional plastic arts with the Blockchain and NFT revolution.
Trust the Artists was devised with a view to promoting art through the alliance of two
countries: Italy on the one hand, with its great contribution to humanity, the cradle of art, a must-visit destination to contemplate transcendence; on the other hand, the wonderful and talented human capital of a young and vibrant state such as Colombia. This combination not only highlights the precious artistic expression of its participants but also consolidates the strength that intercultural projects bring, generating great interest in an avant-garde public, forever thirsty for novelty.
Boccanera Gallery thus opens its doors to a project conceived by Norma Márquez, a Colombian curator who has been living in Milan for the last five years and who, with a
great interest in making her culture better known, is involved in the development and promotion of Latin American artists in Italy, with the collaboration of Gustavo Solmott, founder of Marte247 Galería & Marte247 ARTFUND, an art fund based on cryptoeconomics and NFTs.
The group of artists dialoguing with each other in Trento adopt a social and political approach to the construction of voices and perspectives otherwise excluded by hegemonic art systems.
The multidisciplinary structure of the group thus creates a path without following a map, insofar as the NFT systems or pathways of art are put together along the way. Boccanera Gallery wishes to testify to this by becoming part of this revolution, creating an exhibition beyond the traditional schemes of art-making.
Today, the cultural movement known as Crypto Art allows us to travel through the digital art
scenes in countries such as Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala and Mexico via the works exhibited in Trento by: Jacobo Blandón (Medellín – Colombia 1987), Estrujamentes (Medellín – Colombia, 1980), VJ Fred (Bogotá – Colombia, 1973), Limbo Mask (Tijuana – Mexico, 1990), Kina Matahari (Camagüey – Cuba, 1991), Alejandro Peters (Coatepeque – Guatemala, 1983) and Camilo Restrepo (Medellín – Colombia 1973).
Jacobo Blandón, born in Medellín (Colombia) in 1987.
Lives and works in Medellín.
Industrial designer and mathematical engineer. Jacobo critically investigates society and money by taking to the limit the digital traces left by augmented reality, artificial intelligence, performance and video with the exploration and investigation of various technologies for digital design and manufacturing through 3D printing. In addition to developing augmented reality applications, he also combines various programming languages for art, technology and industry.
Estrujamentes – María Paramo, born in Medellín (Colombia) in 1980.
Lives and works in El Retiro – Antioquia (Colombia).
Artista digitale, scrittrice e illustratrice, psicologa e filosofa. Digital artist, writer and illustrator, psychologist and philosopher. Through Estrujamentes, María Páramo gives rise to a visual and poetic device of mental transgression, one which creates and recreates fields of experimentation to bring people closer to systems of thought deemed alternative to traditional ones. Her aim is to provoke meaning without the need for rationalisation. As a digital artist she has integrated her technical-poetic works into her visual ones, creating images and texts in unison with one another. She chooses digital collage as a painting technique, and reflective writing as an opportunity for subjectification and resistance to a predominantly rational world. Her aesthetics is one of reflective gesture: at the same time cryptic, cosmic and metaphysical.
VJ Fred – Fredy Arias, born in Bogotà (Colombia) in 1973.
Lives and works in Bogotà.
Digital art and video creator, film graduate from the National University, reel motion design, postproduction design for film and television, video-mapping and VJ-ing. He has worked in various fields from video art to metaverse creation and programming. He has received several grants, such as the national culture grant for new media and the district video art creation grant for Domo. He has exhibited his video artwork in several exhibitions in Colombia and abroad, and his immersive format video art was recently featured in the Al Wasl Plaza dome in Dubai as part of Expo 2020.
Limbo Mask, born in Tijuana (Mexico) in 1990.
Lives and works in Tijuana.
Illustrator specialised in Digital Collage. With this technique, he combines endless themes from technology, nature, art, philosophy and politics. Limbo does not have a single style with which to create art, as he believes not all ideas can be expressed through a single language; thus, his work is constantly evolving and his goal is to immortalise himself in the Blockchain. He has stood out by virtue of his participation in movements related to Hacktivism, supporting causes such as the fight for the freedom of Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, being part of the group of critical and anti-establishment artists.
Kina Matahari, born in Camagüey (Cuba) in 1991.
Lives and works in Havana (Cuba).
Artist and art historian. She investigates society from a critical stance, comparing local issues, capitalism and Blockchain philosophy. In her works, we see video art based on the repression of the Cuban government.
Alejandro Peters, born in Coatepeque (Guatemala) in 1983.
Lives and works in Guatemala City (Guatemala).
Creative director of d4 McCANN and a collage artist. He started creating collages in 2019, just before the pandemic, using newspapers, magazines and coloured paper as well as recyclable materials. His work has evolved since he discovered Blockchain technology, and some of his works have been exhibited at NFT NYC, ART BZL / Art Basel Miami and ARS ELECTRONICA FESTIVAL in New York. Alejandro investigates the fragility of the physical image brought into NFTs, testing the immateriality, the virtual, the new uses of collecting related to crypto art.
Camilo Restrepo, born in Medellín (Colombia) in 1973.
Lives and works in Medellín.
Mechanical Engineer (1991–1996) with a master’s degree in aesthetics from the National University of Colombia (2008) and an MFA from CalArts (2013). He has held solo exhibitions in Colombia and the United States. In 2010, Restrepo was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and nominated for the Luis Caballero Prize, the most important award in Colombia for artists under 35.
His books include La foto de idéntidad: fragmentos para una estética. (‘The Identity Photo: fragments for an aesthetic’ 2002) and the monograph Alias (2019). Restrepo’s work has appeared in publications such as The History of Photography in Colombia 1950–2000, Contemporary Art Colombia, and Vitamin D3: The Best of Today in Contemporary Drawing. Restrepo avoids facile categorisations about the use of media, which have served him with greater or lesser intensity in specific series or in vital and productive chapters. His production eludes historicist labels. In his works, plastic resources converge, rooted in expressionism, Art Brut, surrealism, postmodern outlooks or the adoption of ethnographic models. He defies ascription to any specific school of thought, as he draws on broad theoretical fields such as cultural studies, post-structuralism and psychoanalysis.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)