Federico Airaudo is an Ecuadorian artist currently based in Ladner and he is thrilled to present his first solo show in Vancouver.
The Slice of Life Gallery (1636 Venables St.) presents Habla from Feb. 8 to 11 with an opening reception on Feb. 8 from 7 to 11 p.m.
As a figurative painter his work uses bright colours and humour to engage with political and satirical dimensions of public life in Ecuador, and more broadly Latin America. His work is recognized for its brimming detail, winding storylines, and characterization of human-animals, insects, and objects. Through these characters, he narrates the distinct, instinctual cultural mannerisms of Ecuador as they play out in multiple and often contradictory scenarios.
Airaudo says Habla is an expression characteristic of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s bustling port-city. Within the fast-paced flow of street commerce, the phrase is spoken as a playful nod, an invitation, and a call ‘to talk’. For Guayaquileños, everything happens within this talk.
Through a series of lively visual scenarios that speak with the cultural rhythms and tensions of the port, his paintings re-animate the gregarious, yet often over-looked dialogues that figure Guayaquil.
“I recently immigrated to Ladner and I’m excited to be able to present some of the social nuances and specificities of my country here in a Canadian context,” he said. “The paintings are a series of jam-packed, highly detailed, visual scenarios. My hope is that viewers get pulled into the details of these scenes, and that they stay for a while to notice some of the everyday customs of this place, their ironies and contradictions.”
Airaudo said he has always drawn since he can remember.
“When I was young, I passed summers constantly filling notebook after notebook with sketches,” he recalled. “As a teenager I was really involved in surfing, and eventually the boards became my canvas. This was my informal transition into painting. I later studied creative publicity and design in Argentina.
“I’m inspired by just watching people, noticing their mannerisms, gestures, and ways. I also find the process and challenge of painting really energizing.”