Carlos Aguirre, recipient of a South Florida Cultural Consortium painting grant and winner of the "Best of Show" in the Hortt Competition at the Fort Lauderdale Art Museum, has exhibited woodcuts and paintings in Holland, Peru, Norway and the USA. Here, Aguirre presents his own selection of 30 oil paintings designed to transport viewers back to the world of Pre Inca, colonial and postmodern times.

Aguirre, a Native American Quechwa from Peru, finds inspiration for his art in the Inca, Latino, and North American cultures. His aesthetic objectives are rooted in a close relationship between concept and process. He searches for the unification of music and two dimensional art as in pre colombian times. He does not search for beauty only, but strives also for a non-European view of art. The artist starts his creative works by sketching images or inner visions. For him, all images are end products reflecting cultural life. He collects ideas from art history, childhood memories, dreams, Andean music, media, geography, and popular culture. Aguirre then alters and decomposes these visuals by drawing them over and over in his sketchbooks. By deconstructing and rebuilding these images, he transforms their original meaning. Through this exploration, the primary symbolism is buried and is resurrected into a new visual narrative. As the artist begins a new painting, his motivation is often totally unconscious and abstract. Other times, he intentionally addresses the struggles of native and minority peoples.

Aguirre also finds a creative outlet in Amazonian and Andean performance. In Pre-Inca times art and music were related. Music is an art and a shamanistic life style in Andean and Amazonian tradition. In the Inca tradition when he plays the bamboo flutes they, the bamboo itself, come back to life and sings with its own voice. Aguirre feels that the idea of art and music being separate arts, originates in Greece. It is a Eurocentric concept he does not accept. When not painting, he makes and plays quena flutes, panpipes and Native American drums. He performs with Inca Spirit, a Miami-based band. Through both his painting and music, Aguirre hopes to preserve the legacy of his Inca ancestors and to present a contemporary view of indigenous art.


Work in progress 2001.

Aparecida, "The one that appeared" is an oil painting inspired by having lived a summer in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. She is a local saint, except she is really a deity from Africa.

" To me she is a water deity. African slaves accepted Portuguese religion and music, but camouflaged them with their own. This tension of cultures is a metamorphosis of survival from the oppressed. It is a reference to their own African roots which in a way remain intact. The same tension took place in Amazonian and Andean cultures, " Aguirre.


Partial intallation view of nine oil paintings at Hagit Contemporary Gallery of Art, Miami, FL. 2001

Archangels symbolize the Pre Inca thunder god "Illapa." The baroque colonial painting style is appropiated and placed in a postmodern contemporary setting. Thus the being is not an archangel but Illapa in disguise.


"Miami Circle," triptich at Hagit Contemporary Gallery of Art, Miami. FL

The paper dolls are portraits of the Shipibo, Seminole and Aguaruna Native American nations. By placing two Amazonian nations with the Seminole it references an association of unity among native peoples. The paper dolls symbolize the impotence of these nations for survival in the "rez" and in the shrinking rainforests. The contrasting Barbie dolls behind show the constant srtuggle of the "Cowboys vs Indians" Hollywood culture. The Barbie's price tag doubles as the price for the doll itself and the price set for the American Indian's scalps two hundred years ago.



Oils measure 3' x 5' or 4'x 6'. 1993-2001

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Oils measure 3' x 5' or 4'x 6'. 1994-2001


native spirits

Oils measure 3' x 5' or 4'x 6'. 1996-2001


mother earth and water deity symbols

Oils measure 3' x 5' or 4'x 6'. 1995-2001




Oils measure 3' x 5' or 4'x 6'. 1993-2001


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