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Liber Fridman

Liber Fridman was born in Argentina . Since he was young, he manifested his adventurous spirit in an outer search that took him to the most throbbing places of South America . This was the reflection of another search, an inner one, which would allow him to find himself, his original style and his own destiny. These searchers would take him from the Hispanic-guaranitic architectural monuments of the interior of Paraguay to the rubber plantations of the Amazon; places he portrayed during the years that he stayed in each one of them.

After visiting Brazil , he spent a short time in the inland of Venezuela and then traveled to Peru where he would find the reason of his trips and his existence; a country he would not leave for several decades. In Peru , Fridman discovered the peculiar style of his art. As he was getting into the pre-Colombian cultures, he was able to capture their mythological and missing legacy in his work. One time, during an exhibition of his works in Lima , someone asked him what he expected to transmit with his art. Fridman answered with an exceptional phrase: “to recreate a world”. This answer summed up the whole spirit that impelled his work, the recovery of the mythical past of the pre-Colombian Peru .

Shortly before he was 70, he returned to Argentina where he started to give birth to his best works. Only when he physically left his beloved Peru , did he manage to express, with the highest intensity, everything he developed and thought out during the decades spent there. It was in Argentina where he found the distance and peace that he needed to create the definitive and final set of his artistic production.

Introduction to Liber Fridman´s work

In "ABADDON EL EXTERMINADOR" ("Abaddon, The Exterminator"), I made some statements which still retain their validity today, even more than ever before. The arts -with some dramatic exceptions- have been transformed into an elitist art in the worst sense of the word, into a sort of ironic rococo similar to that which dominated the French salons of the 18th century. That is, far from being an avant-garde art, it may be deemed as a rearguard art. And, as always under these conditions, it becomes a minor art: it serves to entertain, to pass the time between winks among those who are involved in the subject. Ladies and gentlemen, bored with life, met in those salons to gossip and make a joke of everything. Witty acrostics, epigrams and puns, parodies of the Aeneid were elaborated, topics were proposed for the participants to write poems. On one occasion, twenty-seven sonnets were written on the (hypothetical) death of a parrot. An activity which, to major art, is as fireworks to the burning of an orphanage. Musique de table , nothing to disturb the digestion. Serious issues were ridiculed, ingenuity replaced genius, which is always in poor taste. While the poor died of hunger or were tortured in dungeons, an art of this nature can only be considered as a spiritual perversity and putrefact decadence. However, in defence of this race, it must be said that they did not see themselves as the paladins of the revolution that was emerging. Even in this regard, they had good taste, something which cannot be said of those who call themselves revolutionaries today. Some thirty years ago, right here, in Buenos Aires , the project of a novel which could be read either from beginning to end or from end to beginning, was joyfully welcomed. Just like those marquises. At a Biennial held in Venice , somebody exhibited a Down syndrome person on a stand. When these extremes are reached, one can understand that our civilization is crumbling.

Liber Fridman, whom nobody or almost nobody gave a thought when he held an exhibition, a man who has spent the past 84 years of his life studying the archaic cultures of Latin America -including the Amazon region-, a man who also undertook major restoration projects of the paintings in the temples there, one the kindest and most generous persons I've been lucky to meet, undoubtedly is a painter who shall go down in the history of our artistic continent.

Ernesto Sábato, Santos Lugares, May 1995.

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