La Chola Poblete (Mendoza, 1989) has been named Deutsche Bank’s “Artist of the Year” for 2023.
In her work the Argentinian artist critically examines the consequences of colonialism and white supremacy in her home country. Through paintings, watercolors, sculptures, and performances, she reflects on her indigenous and queer roots and opposes the stereotyping and exoticization of indigenous peoples. As part of the award, La Chola Poblete will present her first solo exhibition in Europe at Berlin’s PalaisPopulaire, which will run from September 8, 2023 till February 5, 2024.
In a press release annuncing the award, Anna Herrhausen, Head of Deutsche Bank’s Art and Culture unit, says:
“Argentina has an enormously rich and diverse art scene that is not well known in Europe yet. Executing bold works on paper that are critical of the times, La Chola Poblete is one of the country’s most important living artists. In doing so, she forges completely new paths in terms of both form and content. The focus is on coming to terms with the repressive structures and suffering brought about by the colonial era.”
La Chola Poblete creates independent hybrid forms and an artistic beauty that defies cultural and racial stereotypes. She often often moves between drawing and painting. Her delicate, masterfully composed watercolors combine the symbolism and mythology of South American peoples with her own reflections on sexuality, religion, politics, ecology, and history. Poblete is part of the queer artist collective Comparsa Drag. With the help of her alter ego La Chola, she constructs a hybrid cultural and sexual identity in performative actions.
The “Artist of the Year” award is given to contemporary artists who have created an artistically and socially relevant body of work that encompasses the media of paper and photography, the two focal points of the Deutsche Bank Collection. Previous recipients include Wangechi Mutu, Yto Barrada and Maxwell Alexandre and LuYang. La Chola Poblete was proposed for the award by Deutsche Bank’s Global Art Advisory Council whose members are Victoria Noorthoorn, Hou Hanru and Udo Kittelmann.
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