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Adriana Silva, Colombian ambassador for Hispanic American art in Europe and the US, returns to Paris with a new exhibition | The NY Journal


The curator exhibits works by 35 Hispanic artists in the new exhibition “The Art Formula”, whose main theme is environmental challenges and climate change

NEW YORK – As a child, today the art curator Adriana silva he remembers the moments when his father Jorge returned. The return of his father was not possible without a “fingerprint” on paper of something visible. An image drawn or painted that transcended any distance to make itself felt in the present.

“When he went fishing or camping or going on a trip, he would see something and paint it on me. Look, that’s how I saw the moon… ”, recalls the Colombian.

With this accumulation of small details, the “White Feather chief” -as he nicknames him to highlight his influence- was marking the young woman’s life towards art.

“It is like the missions you have in life, I will not go against nature,” says the interviewee.

“It has been in the cradle, it has been from a very young age; my father has always painted, he has always been in art, and I was born and raised between ink, between brushes, between graphic arts… ”, highlights the South American about her principles.

However, Silva’s path as a visual arts curator and cultural manager was not linear.

Before focusing on what keeps her in constant transit between France, Spain, United States and his home country, he studied economics and business administration, which made him see that his spirit needed additional leaps. The “anarchy” that moves her took her from one field to another until she reached the essential.

“Sometimes you want to do things that you think will generate other types of benefits or you think that there are careers that can give you other knowledge; and in my case it was exactly the same, I have always liked to paint, always, always. And, curiously, I did not study Fine Arts, but I studied economics, business administration, the whole financial subject … But, then over time, you realize that the artistic and graphic part is stronger and I started studying graphic design “, Silva confesses the face of the foundation and gallery “Arte al Paso”.

“Graphic design led me to ‘marketing’ (marketing); Marketing led me to ‘branding’ (brand creation); I already said about ‘branding’, ‘well, no, with all this knowledge that I have, I am going to return to my roots’, to what I liked, and I returned to art, ”argues the manager.

Ambassador of Hispanic American Art

Through the steps of five years, with no office or hours, Silva has managed to become an ambassador of Hispanic American art in Europe and in US cities, such as New York, advising and representing creators who otherwise would not have access to their works transcending the local.

In that period of time, Silva has led at least eight exhibitions under the “Arte al Paso” label, the first in Bogotá.

“When I arrived here (Europe) and walked the galleries and saw everything, I said: ‘I don’t see Latino artists, I don’t see that they are moving, I don’t see that Latin American art is heard as a concept of Latin American art.’ Because there will be many Latinos who paint here, but is there a concept of Latin American art? There isn’t, ”Silva reflects on what led her to guide her steps.

“That generated that I will begin to do the exhibitions here. That caused us to raise like the flag… I said: ‘here we have to start doing something’ “, points out the curator who arrived in Madrid 22 years ago.

The challenge of being a woman

Silva acknowledges that, as in many other areas, being a woman has been a major challenge in her career. Although, according to what she says, the impediments far from stopping her have served as an incentive.

“It is not easy to be a woman curator of art, it is not easy to be a woman who sells art, a woman who wants to move in spaces that are only moved by men who manage everything themselves and that relationships, contacts in those circles they are so closed (because they are supremely closed), so it is very difficult. And since I’m half anarchic, then I rode my own cycles and my own stuff. So for me it has been quite difficult to open up to this, but I have succeeded, ”he says with confidence.

The expectation is to arrive soon in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, and in Mexico with deliveries of at least 35 Hispanic American artists.

A work of many phases

In the arduous process to overcome territorial borders and achieve the global positioning of the samples, focus is key. It takes Silva about a year to develop a presentation of this level.

“Throughout the year, I am looking at resumes, portfolios, interviewing artists, traveling to see their workshops, looking at their works, during the year I am doing that work. Then I’m doing marketing work… there are many variables that are not done in a single month ”, she details with the clarity and simplicity that characterize her.

“The formula of art”

The most recent of the Arte al Paso exhibitions began on September 15 in Paris, France, and will run until the 30th of this month.

With the participation for the first time of artists from Central America, the exhibition named “La formule de l´art” (The Formula of Art) seeks not only to highlight the potential of Hispanic American art as a motor of social change, but also the reality of the environmental crisis that the whole world suffers and struggles.

It is a bet to keep the cultural and artistic ecosystem alive through the creator’s confrontation with the ecological challenges that are experienced daily, Silva abounds.

As a base piece, the Colombian together with a group of collaborators from different parts of the globe wrote 100 postulates contained in the “Manifesto from Art to Ecoart”, “Universalist Manifesto”; or more in short, “EcoArt”.

Adriana Silva Arte al Paso
“La formule de l´art” (The Formula of Art) has already started in Paris under the direction of Adriana Silva. (Supplied / Arte al Paso)

“The artist must choose to make visible the structures, symbols, and denounce the abuses and sources of power that are rapidly depleting Planet Earth (Gaia)”, reads one of the 100 theses in the document that serves as the basis for the new exhibition.

“Life is a work of Art, the environment is the brush and Planet Earth (Gaia) is our canvas, how would you paint it?”, Sums up the writing under whose ideas the participants of the exhibition in Paris developed their works.

Art exhibition
Participants in the exhibition “La Fórmula del Arte”, which is made up of more than 30 Hispanic-American artists in Paris, France. (Supplied / Adriana Silva)
Art exhibition
The exhibition, curated by Colombian Adriana Silva, will be open until September 30. (Supplied / Adriana Silva)

The association between art and ecology is – at this juncture – the way for the architect to guide his work.

“Art has to show the reality that is being lived; Whether it is dreamlike, surreal or intimate, art has to show the reality that is being lived. One of the realities that he is living is that of the person who creates it, the person who creates it is facing deaths, great pains, great joys, facing many things, because it is the product of a global context, of a situation economic, social, political, environmental. So, it cannot be outside… art is in everything ”, insists the manager.

Art exhibition
One of the works in the Latin American art exhibition “La Fórmula del Arte” in Paris, France. (Supplied / Adriana Silva)
Art exhibition
One of the works in the Latin American art exhibition “La Fórmula del Arte” in Paris, France. (Supplied / Adriana Silva)

Transcend the intimacy of the artist

However, Silva states that it is not only about what the artist feels and how he is able to express it. In order for her work to transcend, the “coach” considers that it must be willing to be guided to create a name.

“If you haven’t created an image around you… you have to make a signature, you have to have a track record, and you have to have a positioning through art to be able to sell it later. So, there are stages that cannot be skipped ”, he lists.

“I see the artist as just another company, a whole image is created, his company -which is he- is organized, and then he launches himself into an international market,” he says, alluding to his academic beginnings.

To questions about how this requirement could affect the authenticity of the artistic work, Silva responds: “It’s simple, the artist has to dedicate himself to painting and people like me who dedicate themselves to this kind of management, curating, where we put many variables.

So, simply, the artist dedicates himself to painting, which is what he knows how to do, they do not force him to have to know everything that I know. I am simply a medium, a tool that you can use to help you do better in what you are doing ”.

A learning process

That phase of penetrating the border between the intimacy of the artist’s work and a possible agency, Silva acknowledges, is one of the most difficult processes of his work. However, it bets on the additional learning tools that the process offers as a point in favor of the artist.

“The curation that I do is based on a specific theme. Last year, here in Paris, it was precisely the global confrontation, confronting the artist with his sociocultural and economic reality. This year I confront the artist about a climatic, environmental and impact situation that we are all going through. In other words, if we have not learned what is happening to us, it is incredible ”, explains the Colombian.

“Through this learning, the artist when he takes one of my curatorships… he realizes that there is a‘ background ’, there is a background theme. Then it has to start, not just any painting is presented to me. I put the subject, and I make it think. It is not that he presents me with any painting … What are you doing from your concept, from you, artist to the world. What are you helping? What not? So, I think that from there we have done a very important job ”, he sums up.

Start and scope of “Arte al Paso”

“Arte al Paso” has spaces in the different countries where it exhibits.

“It arose like all my projects, with an unstructured idea that was taking shape until it became Arte Al Paso Internacional that travels through several countries and that collects the brand both through the gallery, as well as the foundation, curatorship and marketing. It has been a non-stop process. The results are seen because I am constant, constant. I have work every day, ”insisted the spokeswoman.

However, his birthplace is Colombia, where his father directs the initiatives.

Precisely, part of the income from the sales of the works in the exhibition that is currently being held in Paris will be directed to programs for workshops for children in the South American country who would not otherwise have that contact with art.

“Those small actions that are small, because we cannot do more, because we need more money, more support and institutions to sponsor us …”, Silva said.


Artists participating in the “La formule de l´art”

Dora Luz Delgado Pérez, Colombia

Maria Claudia Saavedra. Colombia

Ludwig Herrera, Colombia

Gónzalo Ruiz “Moyo”, Colombia

Hoover Rojas, Colombia

Macarena Matte Lira, Chile

Pamela Letona, Honduras

Florencio de Pedro, Spain

Gilberto Arriaza, El Salvador

Virieskin del Toro, Cuba – Germany

María del Pilar Criado, Spain

Aldo Jiménez, Mexico

Marcelo Cervantes, Ecuador

Yadira Medina, Cuba -Germany

Tania Chávez, Honduras

Juanito Guanabacoa, Mexico – France

Agustín Castilla-Ávila, Spain

Vinicio Cantero, Mexico

Liza Alas Posada, El Salvador

Emiliano S. Parra, Mexico

Doris Cruz, Honduras

Bezalel Cadena, USA

Carlos Fuentes, Mexico

Carlos Betancourt, Venezuela

Ana Contreras, Venezuela

Haydee Borocz, Venezuela

Aníbal Martíno, Venezuela

Luis León, Dominican Republic

John Serna, Colombia

Alejandro Pachón, Colombia

Óscar Echeverry “José Celador”, Colombia

Exhibition location:

7 Rue Saint Sabin, Paris, 75011, Espace 7

Hours: 10 a.m. at 7 p.m.

More about Arte al Paso

To learn more about Arte al Paso projects: https://www.artealpaso.com/

Email: [email protected]

Details about the “EcoArte Manifesto”: https://www.artealpaso.com/fundacion-arte-al-paso/manifiesto-ecoarte/



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