For Plato, the carpenter imitated the ideas of the gods. The painter imitates the idea conceived and created by the carpenter.
Works of visual and poetic art were for Plato the imitation of an imitation: imitations of a secondary rank. In this context, Plato uses a descending framework, which he applied to the history of the world: reality regresses and marches on from top to bottom, from the superior to the inferior.
But in Marxism, the creation of ideas, of meaning and of conscience are primarily, directly and intimately tied to the material activity of human beings.
This is the language of real life: symbolism, thought, intellectual exchange between men and women, which appear here as if emanating straight from physical behaviour, all of it arising in contrast to Plato’s framework, from the inferior to the superior.
That was the year the Nadaísta movement began in Medellin, which came to power in Cuba with the 26 July Movement. The small town of Bogota became an important city, with the arrival in the capital (from all corners of the country) of refugees from the violence produced by Conservatism and Liberalism to take hold of social, political and economic power.
It then became clear that the capitalist interest of class would survive, above the interests of the town and the Colombian nation. This town without conscience has played a starring role as victim of a conflict that still hasn’t ended.
She, the painter, comes from a home where the works of her father, Humberto Tafur Charrí, left a strong impression on her as a young child, with its ideological and revolutionary aspects. This can be seen throughout her pictures: present in her figures, close to figurative expressionism, are pain, courage and the will to fight, to escape misery and to form a new world that is truly for everyone.
The techniques are varied and numerous, ranging from pencil, then charcoal, ink and arriving at acrylics and oils.
But what stands out to the eye of the careful observer, is the line, because the line is the essence of the painter, just as rhythm is the essence of the musician or the poet.
And I can say this as the curator of the exhibition: that Patricia Tafur has a style of her own, which is saying something, because many spend their lives looking for one and never finding it.
It is an important question because we live in a misogynistic and supremely macho society, characterised by contempt for the feminine, and it was even more so for her, coming from a tiny village which was completely prehistoric and pre-modern, from the south of Colombia.
The answer can be found in a quote from Hemingway: ‘If inspiration exists, then I find it while working…‘ To this, I would add fighting, because this has been the case for Patricia Tafur, since she was young; of being an activist for social justice through her art.
Tafur has produced innumerable solo and joint exhibitions both within and outside of her country. Her first solo exhibition took place in the conference hall of Ultrahuila Cooperative in 1991, the year of the new constitution, which these days, the rotten Congress want to throw out.
The 55-year-old artist has been painting since she was 14, thanks to the support of her mother, Cecilia Perdomo, who wanted to be an actress and pianist, but wasn’t able to achieve her goal because of the precarious circumstances of her life.
Patricia went to study at the School of Fine Arts in Huila and since then has provided illustrations for print publications. She married early on and created a beautiful family, which with her children and grandchildren, is the undoubtedly the finest picture she has painted.
It is impossible to show all her achievements and all her triumphs, works, encounters, persecutions by the state, journeys, laughter and tears, for the aim is to achieve a dialogue with her work and also with herself.
(Translated by Daniela Fetta)