When looking at the oil paintings of Chilean-Peruvian artist Ivana De Vivanco, I find myself becoming somewhat a voyeur, the striking paintwork enticing my eyes to intrude on private spaces and scenes of strange happenings, often including nude forms. A slightly uncomfortable feeling emanates whilst at the same time I want to keep looking at the artwork, with its expressive brushstrokes and vibrantly contrasting blues with oranges and reds, the strange, theatrical scenes and unusual characters drawing me in. Ivana believes that art is something that is not necessarily comfortable, but wants to provoke the viewer and cause contemplation. It is up to us as viewers to decipher the mysteries of paintings, in particular she invites reflection on the possible connections between literature and painting.
It is clear that Ivana draws on numerous influences throughout art history. I can see her work to be influenced by The Flemish Primitives such as Van Eyck, members of The Dutch School for example Rembrandt and Vermeer, Avant-Garde innovators like Manet and Van Gogh, along with many contemporary influences such as Lucian Freud and Hockney. Ivana’s work reinterprets themes that have occupied art history, such as Greek mythology, but through her own contemporary language she has invented as an artist. Artists appropriate a subject to their specific time and place, they themselves as individuals, determine the images created, even when reinterpreting reoccurring themes. Ivana refers to herself as “a thief of images and ideas”, using collected images, art history and literature to inform her paintings. Her work brings literature and painting together, in a complex back and forth motion, with each mode of expression being enriched by exchanging codes of representation with the other. She’s very interested in the articulation between image and word. Through contemporary painting she reconstructs and rethinks old narratives in unique and strange ways, placing mythical creatures and characters to violate intimate spaces and private domains, yet simultaneously synthesizing the bodies and scenes in particular ways.
Art on a Postcard is lucky to have four beautiful paintings by Ivana De Vivanco. Although the subjects are not nudes, they are painted in her expressive, contrasting colour palette style, strange characters set against intimate spaces, confronting the viewer in a slightly unsettling yet inviting manner.
About the writer
Tara is an Art Foundation and History of Art graduate born and bred in London. She has travelled the globe extensively, immersing herself in the vibrant arts and cultures the world has to offer, and hopes her next adventure will take her to India! She is currently teaching English as a foreign language whilst enjoying volunteering at Art on a Postcard, and she hopes to break into the art world!