What’s a Figari?

Museo des Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires

Pedro Figari’s dancing minstrels dressed in frocks set in a background of 19th century Plata question what painting is. Like the work of the Biascamano siblings (Aldo, Patricia and Stephane), which is a must have for anyone who wants to live in Sète and call that town home. Figari’s work is the same for those who lived in the Plata region at the beginning of the end of 19th beginning of 20th century. They spoke of unique culture, integrating European immigrants, black slaves and indigenous culture in what was becoming the new world vision.

Museo Figari, Montevideo

Hundreds of paintings on carton exist. No masterpieces but hundreds of documents, like miscellaneous news items, he documented his time from the salons and inner courtyards, to street corners, from the prairies to the garden of eden in Latin America. Painting becomes an activity, bringing the mundane new world into the salons of power, modelled on European fashions. Ownership of the work was political. 

Figari’s work is about context, he proposed and his public created a new vison which in the Plata is as meaningful as Constables’ Hay Wain’ is in the imagination of the English.

Museo Blanes, Montévidéo

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