In 1962, when she was in her last year at the Faculty of Arts of the Universidad de los Andes, the artist from Santander Beatriz González discovered that painting from life was an unattainable task. In a forceful way, he concluded that to create he had to start from something determined.
This intellectual interest in looking at the concrete with different eyes led her to reinterpret the great masters of the history of Western art, such as Diego Velázquez or Johannes Vermeer.
Faced with the impossibility of eluding the influence of the great genius of the Dutch baroque, González made fifteen oil variations of La Lacera, which he exhibited in his first solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Bogotá.
Driven by a search for artistic originality and at the same time feeling dissatisfied with her practice, one day in 1965 she opened the press and found a poor-quality image of a drowned couple that, like an epiphany, revealed a new artistic path to follow.
The printed photograph with a flat, blurred appearance, devoid of shadows and with a particular color, confirmed his pictorial exploration of that time. Los suicidas del Sisga (1965), González’s iconic work, marked the beginning of the use of the printed image as the main source of his work.
The configuration of an artistic language based on the appropriation of the given image and the careful and critical observation of its surroundings inaugurated an artistic trajectory that decisively marked the development of the national plastic arts.
The chance encounter with the image of the drowned couple in the newspaper, and a series of photographs of Vanguardia Liberal’s red page that were presented to her, led her to create her first file of press clippings.
As a self-respecting collector, the artist began to enjoy the action of searching. Guided by her intuition, she dedicated herself to selecting images from the press, especially from provincial newspapers, which show sui generis features of Colombian popular culture.
He established a psychological bond with his photographs and, by connecting with them, began the initial stage of his creative processes: drawing.
His file kept growing. González undertook the exploration of sheet metal as a support and industrial enamel as a pigment.
At the beginning of the 70s, the bumanguesa invented her acclaimed furniture and household objects full of irreverence, thanks to an instant that she has called “magical”, in which, due to fate, she took her recently finished painting of the Lord of Monserrate, made on brass, and arranged it as the base of a bed he had bought at a market.
Popular graphics – new members of his archive – in which religious and art history images were printed and marketed throughout the country, began to be appropriated by González and transformed into works that, in addition to exploring the theme of taste, they reflect on the reception and consequent alteration of European culture in an underdeveloped context like Colombia.
Always intrepid and defiant, Beatriz González continues to claim the memory of tragic episodes in the country with vehemence