A Nation in Pieces

For the artist, the geometric lines of a broken mirror also refer to the circulatory system, the blood that it is pumped and reminds us that we are alive, and that the future must be different for the next generations. Photograph: Patricia Bravo.

he visual artist Patricia Bravo created the El Espejo artwork, a metaphor of the fragmented history of Colombia.

For Patricia Bravo, the demolition of the Mónaco Building on February 22, 2019, has a double meaning. On the one hand, it revives the memory of one of the most violent times in the country’s history, but on the other, it marks the beginning of a time of change.

The Artwork

The artist joined Medellín Embraces its History with the creation of 3,000 images, for which she used techniques such as silk-screen printing and high relief. The process took 15 days at Taller Arte Dos Gráfico workshop, in Bogotá.

Bravo wanted to portray the image of a nation broken into pieces by violent acts that restricted its freedom. It is about “a scar that accompanies us and reminds us that our tragedies are part of a past that was real,” says the Colombian artist.

El Espejo tells us about something broken, in pieces. Both inside of us and as a group. It is a shared story.” Jorge Gómez Restrepo, Colombian painter.

She became interested in Medellín Embraces its History when she received an invitation from Medellín Mayor’s Office to join the project. Her visits to the Mónaco Building were key to this process. After studying it, she carried out several photography sessions and recovered footprints from the place to create a series, which the El Espejo piece is a part of and which reflects the Colombian identity.

Who is Patricia Bravo?

Patricia Bravo is a visual artist who graduated from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She spent the first years of her professional career promoting youth art, and she has worked with different art museums and galleries in Medellín and Bogotá. In 1993, three years after her graduation, she made her first individual exhibition in the capital of Colombia.

She has worked with artists with great careers, including Débora Arango, Beatriz González and Libia Posada, who she collaborated with for different pieces, such as Otras Miradas (Other Glances) and Mata que Dios perdona (Kill, God Forgives). In 1996, together with the artist Óscar Muñoz, she created Biografías (Biographies), a piece that demonstrated her interest in Colombia’s social problems.

The Art of Being

For Patricia Bravo, the purpose of being an artist is to establish intimate dialogs between you and I, expressing from the fraternity of human beings to the violence they can reach in critical situations. Patricia’s work talks about an “us”, about what each person is today, about the universal right to be and about the obligation to not violate that right. From the most fragile and intimate, it reflects the desire to understand others.


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