Monday, February 24, 2014

RIP: Carlos Páez Vilaró

Carlos Páez Vilaró - Carnaval -Uruguay
Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró died today in his iconic Casapueblo in Punta Ballena (Maldonado), Uruguay, at the age of 90. Páez Vilaró was an abstract painter,  potter, sculptor, muralist, writer, composer, screenwriter, and builder. He was a champion of Afro-Uruguayan candombe music and only nine days before his death participated in the "llamadas," a traditional part of Uruguay's carnival. 

Areal view of Casapueblo
He created murals and sculptures for government and corporate offices, private homes and other buildings in Argentina (2), Brazil (16), Chad (4), Chile (3), Gabon (4), the United States (11) and Uruguay (30). Murals in the US include a 162-meter long work in the tunnel connecting the buildings of the Organization of American States and another one in Georgetown University Hospital. The work of which he was proudest is a nondenominational chapel built in Los Cipreses cemetery in San Isidro (Buenos Aires). He is quoted as saying that it was in the design of this chapel that he was able to bring together all the media in which he worked, making stained glass as well as paintings and even the floors for the chapel. He also said that it was a difficult endeavor because "It is not easy for a man who so loves life, to paint for death."
When I visited Uruguay in March of last year I enjoyed a day outing to Casapueblo. Páez Vilaró built the sprawling compound in stages. It ultimately became not only his home and studio, but also a museum with a permanent exhibit of his works, and a 4-star hotel with magnificent views. Google "Carlos Páez Vilaró" y click on "images" to see his works. I leave you here with some pictures of my visit to Casapueblo and other photos of his work.  
More Painted Pots @ Casapueblo

Painted Pots

The painted pots are reminiscent of Picasso's work pottery work. Indeed, Páez Vilaró and Picasso were friends.

Painted wall @ Casapueblo

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