Does the Amazon still represent the idea of being the last remnant of wild nature, freedom, and harmony on the planet? Amazon Baroque is a compendium of the most recent series of big-format botanical paintings and drawings from Ana´s journey through the rainforest in Peru two years after the pandemic. The series was inspired by her previous collection of works called the Jungle. This new series was born out of an attempt to unleash the mesmerizing power of nature through expressionist botanical compositions that allow us to reconnect with nature and ourselves.
Growing up in Lima, where the desert almost feels static, in the jungle Ana´s was fascinated by the abundant vegetation and rich diversity contrasting with the large open views of rivers and mountains. “Sometimes it was hard to see the sky, and other times it was hard to tell how far you could see”, she said. “¡But the jungle is not just what you see. It's much, much more than that. The jungle is full of sounds, smells, and vibrancy. Whenever I get out of the city, I see the plants dancing. They are not static sculptures. They move with light and air all day in loosely coordinated choreography.” She continued.
The jungle made her reflect on the boundaries as a profoundly human construct that was artificially imposed on us. When she looks around, she sees that everything around us is intimately connected, outside and inside us. Think about the air we share when we breathe. In the jungle, the air is heavy, humid, and full of heat. The flowers ooze with aromas reminding us that we don't exist in separation from one another. In the jungle, everything comes together as one, revealing our most intimate thoughts and emotions.
The thick air full of longing and desire, delicate and luminous, the temperature, the unstoppable growth of plants, the death and the new life, the cycle repeats itself. Over and over again. The whispering, subtle symphony of nature. Do you hear it? Nature is constantly changing, but in the Amazon, the cycles of life and death happen so fast that you can barely track them. A new life springs up where something dies, removing sadness and taking away sorrow.
Ana likes to draw and paint plants because it helps her to reconnect with her source. Her art visually interprets shapes, proportions, movements, and positions. She navigates her way with colours and lines, creating contrasts and textures, and filling them with life. Some of Ana´s paintings are more realistic, and others are abstract. This comes from her inner vision unveiling as she intuitively paints after deep observation. Her technique comes from expression to overlapping the layers of paint adding details to recreate the object of study.
This process helps Ana to convey the romantic landscape genre and current (1800's) and the abstract expressionism of the New York School (50's & 60's) that serves as the foundation for the new botanical expressionism. She puts the spectator in the scene and tries to connect them with nature's elemental energy.
Journalist and writer
Ana Balcazar Bartra | Botanicals | April 22 through June 10, Erie PA., 2022.
Ana’s energy is vibrant in her person and her paintings. Each one gives you life! Instant joy. The bright, neon colors plus large scale take you into her world. You can feel the life of the jungle as the movement in each work is expressive, yet defined. She says her pieces come from her imagination, a faraway place of tranquility. They must exist on some plane. She finds the realism within the works, with various scales.
Ana uses photographs which give each piece detailed realism in her expressive style. The pieces are vibrant! They glow! They’re captivating, inviting, and so warm. The hues are golden, bright. They are like a bright summer day. I am transported to the backyard, bugs buzzing, bright sunshine on my shoulders, sunlight dancing in my hair and a soft breeze moving the air. In the jungle pieces I can feel
You arrive into the work like a dream, the sky bright blue overhead and sunlight pouring through. Ana’s exquisite use of color, layered through the leaves gives you a photosynthesis realism, it is life-giving.
Ana paints many murals. She is multi-talented in the arts with experience using many methods of image making. She is traditionally an oil painter who has expanded to meet many surfaces. These are truly dreamscapes, otherworldly yet such a beautiful translation to our gorgeous Earth.
We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to exhibit Ana’s prolific works, and offer them as prints so they can travel far and wide. A percentage of sales will be donated to preserve the jungle in Peru.
We are thrilled to have Ana’s Botanicals here to celebrate the dawn of spring. Having her work in our space is truly life-giving, filled with the bright light of the sun bursting through each painting. It is complementary and fitting as the world outside is reawakening.
Ana’s energy and works are vibrant, expressive, and infectious in her person and her paintings. Her use of bright, neon colors plus the large scale take you into her world. You can feel the life, the buzz, and the feeling of the jungle as the movement in each work is expressive, yet defined. She says her pieces come from her imagination, a faraway place of tranquility. They must exist on some plane. She finds the realism within the works, with various scales. The chili peppers carry the personality of her, her family, her home, and nature, as though we are actually microscopic bugs living on the stems watching the peppers grow.
1020 Collective Curator
Venus: Deidad, Feminidad, Maternidad | Galería José Antonio, Lima, 2021.
Ana Balcazar tiene de inga y de mandinga y en los últimos años ha migrado del lienzo al muro esa diversidad que se manifiesta en su árbol genealógico, a través de la autorrepresentacion, a modo del carácter en el graffiti. La obra de Ana visibiliza una de las variedades de cuerpos, mentes y almas de la mujer peruana. Sus autorretratos muestran composiciones llenas de íntimos sentimientos expresados en simbologías orgánicas como flora y fauna del Perú, desentrañando historias personales y metáforas colectivas sobre la condición humana, así busca que todos quienes tengan acceso a su obra puedan identificarse.
Director de Amazonarte Perú
Ana Balcazar Bartra Paintings | 52 O Street Studios. Washington D.C., 2014.
Ana Balcázar Bartra, born 1984, is a young multidisciplinary artist from Lima, Peru whose work appropriates the tradition of realism, creating dreamlike atmospheres to reference her personal life experiences and journeys undertaken. In 2011, she received a BFA in painting from the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Lima, Peru. With previous exhibitions in Berlin, Germany; Quito, Ecuador; and Lima, Peru, BoomHammer will present the first showing of this young, talented artist’s work in the United States.
Ana Balcazar Bartra Paintings compile giant canvases of landscapes and bedscapes create dream-like sequences, bringing to mind issues of identity, feminism and the subconscious. Evoking references from Latin American women artists throughout history, such as Frida Kahlo and Ana Mendieta, the artist uses her own figure as subject, painting herself life-size and nude upon used flowered bed sheets. With the flower pattern revealed in a variety of translucencies, her figure hovers within mirrored frames over picturesque surreal landscapes of her home country. Salt flats unique to Peru and Bolivia are depicted in wide monochromatic brush strokes, referencing the mysticism of her homeland.
Artist and director of Boomhammer