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March 2010

Antonio Zapata
Biography:
1957- Born in Medellin, Colombia
1975-1981 Architecture, National University, Medellin
1981-1982 Architecture, Technical University, Vienna, Austria
Antonio Zapata, a Colombian artist who lives in Vienna, Austria is an architect by training. Antonio spends 8 months of the year in Europe and 4 months in Colombia, and is married for 28 years to Alicja Wojciechowska (a Polish harpist), and has two children, Laura and Lucas (23 and 14 years old).
Individual Exhibitions:
Austrian Latin America Institute, Vienna-Austria
Thomson Netg, Vienna-Austria
Business School Vienna, Klosterneuburg-Austria
Sound Gallery, Vienna-Austria
Galleria Gzuly Barbazynca, Warszawa-Poland
Europe Hall, Palace Schlick, Vienna-Austria
Austrian Latin America Institute, Vienna-Austria
Galleria Amerlinghaus at Spitelberg, Vienna-Austria
Austrian Latin America Institute, Vienna-Austria
Galleria Kunststaette am Michel (KAM), Hamburg-Germany
Austrian Latin America Institute, Vienna-Austria
Group Exhibitions:
2003 Europe Hall, Palace Schlick, Vienna-Austria
Galleria Ragnerhof, Vienna-Austria
2008 Rincon del Sibarita, Medellin, Colombia
Antonio's art has a lot of powerful influences which include the history of Colombia, spanning the conquest by Spaniards to the present scenario influenced by effects of the drug trade, guerrilla terrorist insurgencies like FARC, and paramilitary groups which have engaged in a bloody internal armed conflict. Parallel to this, Antonio is deeply affected by the history of his family which is full of love but also of death, fertility and destruction, full of eroticism and violence. Perhaps, because of these reasons, a deep bloody red dominates his canvases.
Antonio was born into a Catholic family. However, the Church's extreme positions have also affected Antonio's work and his work protests against the atrocities committed in the name of religion.
Antonio's work also display his displacement from Colombia to Vienna and the contradictions of moving from a poor country to a wealthy country. He has deeply felt the uprooting and what it feels like to be at the end of a "culture-hybrid": After living for more than 30 years in Europe, Antonio no longer feels present day Columbia is the Columbia of his youth. In Austria, he has found home, but finds that the colours, the smells, the lights are all different. His life is trapped in constant nostalgia. Sadness, fury or extreme feelings goad him into trying to escape. This feeling is reflected in his paintings where he includes numerous bodies around the border, trying to release themselves out of the frame.

   
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