Ana Teresa Barboza: Animales Familiares

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“Animales Familiares” is Peruvian artist Ana Teresa Barboza’s most recent body of work, featuring drawings, embroidery, and sculpture. The words accompanying the body of work are by Tilsa Otta, and are translated as follows:

If you want to be pure
But for me pure is wild
Like the first day of sun
– Extract from poem by Altamira

Ana sews to unsew herself, makes herself to unmake herself with colors.
Before, she secretly made the material condition of the dress, unravelling it, as it unravels, and continued with her skin and internal organs.
A good/new time of sewing, of excavations, leads to the discovery of another canvas: beneath civilization and good manners underlies the profundity of an animal of earth. As it sounds.

Today nature is represented with a frivolity that frightens. It is scenery, styling, a look, an aesthetic recourse without major discourse or signifiers.
At the start of the twentieth century, Futurists talked of machines without breath with the fascination of uncovered treasure; in our times, is the repeated representation of the animal reign evidence of an ancient and sublimated universe, a recurring dream?

In Ana’s scenes of fauna incarnate, skin is not an animal print. We remember what we are, below this residential and functional construction. When we accelerate a car, or honk its horn, go hunting, when we sate hunger or the dream is the only thing, when you don’t think about anything, and stare into the emptiness…
We are illuminated, when we suck on our fingers, one another, we protect our brothers with life, when we return, domesticated and preyed upon, when we are vital and smile, the perfect invasion, hirsute, overflowing beyond skin. If to err is human, the wild side is our most perfect skin. When we love each other, we are human and bite each other. When we love each other, we lose control and lick each other.

When the animals attack.

Barboza’s illustrations, both in traditional media and in thread, show a side of humans that is significantly more animal than our modern society likes to notice. It is bestial without monstrosity; it is not evil or mindlessly destructive. Instead, her drawings show us human expressions with animal embellishments that remind us that our anger can take the shape of a fanged snarl; that our sense of taste embellishes our sense of smell, that our tensed hands are not far from claws and that our motionless ears can still tilt slightly towards sound; that any of us with a passionate partner is holding hands with an animal. Her embroidered pieces illustrate humans who express some sort of animality, that they don as skins or moult like feathers; they rest in thickets like deer and stand plainly, comprised of all the jungle. Her sculptures, while less directly illustrative, add a sense of humor and still state that the human form can be, seamlessly, a home for a sense of what is animal.

The rest of “Animales Familiares” can be found on the artist’s blog.