ANTONIO PAREJA, one of the most important proponents of contemporary Peruvian sculpture, will present an original selection of his most recent work under the title of LAS HUELLAS DE PAREJA EN HUANCARUCMA at ENLACE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO Gallery (Av. Pardo y Aliaga 676, San Isidro), next Wednesday, June 11 at 7.30 p.m. The artist will be present at the exhibition. Antonio Pareja (Ayacucho, Peru, 1945). A self-taught artist, Antonio Pareja experienced his initial contact with art in 1976, when he began work as a welder at the Universidad Católica School of Art. There, he received the support of Ana Macagno, at the time the Director of the School of Sculpture, who admired a work of the artist’s depicting a small bull. From that point on, students and professors encouraged him to continue his learning process. Later, urged on by the student Rocío Rodrigo, now a noted sculptor, Antonio took part in a contest organized by the Banco de Comercio, in which he received an honorable mention, a distinction that would motivate him to continue working until he developed his ability to create and depict—using wood, stone, or metal—his most cherished experiences and memories of his native Ayacucho. The current exhibition, “Las huellas de Pareja en Huancarucma,” consists of seventeen works made from stone, marble, iron, and wood, of varying sizes. The artist exhibits to us a work charged with directness and simplicity, where pumas, bears, viscachas, cats, snakes, and other animals greet us with a friendly, docile attitude and a smile, without losing their natural boldness. Likewise, figures such as the Angel of the Puna, the Mummy, the Catholic, and the Jockey reveal to us, with an anecdotal tone, their characters and their weaknesses. They are beings who assume their peculiarities and even their shortcomings, although with a merry and unpreoccupied semblance. Pareja does not use models. He simply depicts whatever it that his mind, his imagination, and his memories see: animals, heroes, common men and women who are at the same time special. His oeuvre is not restricted by technical academic ideas. He goes beyond this, making his approach one of the most solid, convincing, and sincere to be found today. Of Pareja’s work, Jorge Villacorta Chávez has said: “The sculptures of Antonio Pareja are in a completely different category, however, reinforcing their author’s position as a loner. His is an art forged by himself, revealing his mettle as a very special case of cultural production that has arisen from a traditional context and undergone a process of change, fostered by his contact with the urban educational environment and the materials of artistic creation, to which he has responded with an exceptional sensibility. His works render visible and touchable the myths of the family or community environment, as something that cannot be extricated from urban myths, whether sociocultural or those developed through the sensibility of Andean men and women who have migrated to metropolis of Lima, and the sensibility of their children, or mass culture itself. The hybridization of the artist’s sensibility as seen through his work is today based on new material, sculptural structures.” (2001). The exhibition may be viewed through July 7, from Monday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. No entry fee.