Miguel Vilca Vargas
Miguel’s work powerfully captures the collision between the European world and the Amazonian native way of life, vividly portraying the clash of two cultures with different values and beliefs.
This dual exploration in his creations reveals the rich tapestry of Amazonian mysticism. It serves as a striking commentary on the intricate interplay between different worlds, offering viewers a nuanced perspective on the cultural confluence within his art.
Pucallpa, now a bustling city resembling a colossal village, is a fascinating place that once was just a small trading post concealed in the jungle, located on the banks of the Ucayali, a tributary of the Amazon River.
Upstream are the docks for the old boats and canoes that venture towards distant and mystical places far away from civilization.
Here resides the artist Miguel Vilca Vargas, known locally as Búho, where he brings his inspired works to life. His figurative paintings draw inspiration from the jungle and its surroundings, crafting mysterious and imaginary portraits of ancestors or the haunting spirits of the jungle. These creations serve as a profound exploration into ancient experiences and distant events, residing beneath the surface of our subconscious.
Búho’s art is not a mere representation of what our eyes see; it aims to convey the innermost depths of our being. His paintings strive to reveal the profoundness of our souls. The painted heads are not meant to be mere reflections of one’s face, but rather symbols of sensations and experiences originating from the depths of the brain.
They attempt to capture and express something that lies dormant within each of us.
I derive inspiration from my fantasies and experiences in the jungle, retracing my journey through the intricate labyrinth of my mind. The artworks, though silent, speak in the universal language of bygone eras, the present, and the future, surpassing the constraints of human language. They tell their own story.”
In these regions, the ancient forest environment, adorned with trees predating modern civilization and plant species from times before the first evidence of man, captivates with its colors, dark corners, blood-chilling sounds, concealed bird songs, mischievous mosquitoes, and clouds of joyously buzzing insects.
This space harbors people who, thanks to ancestral traditions and experiences passed down through generations, can communicate with other worlds inaccessible to our civilized minds. It remains unaffected by the distractions of modern civilization—a place where one can be at peace with oneself, and natives are unacquainted with the concept of boredom.
Here, one delves into the past, into the realm of silent ancestors—a place teeming with spirits and the fear of the unknown. Faces grimace with toothless mouths, and ghostly faces lack eyes—a disconcerting place. It oscillates between life and exuberant vegetation on one hand, and permeating death on the other—an omnipresent force without which life would lose its meaning.
Búho’s intention is not to present life as perceived through our superficial vision in the “civilized” world. He neither mocks nor explains religious positions through his art. He does not create spectacles as reactions to fleeting and superficial sensations.
The central theme of his works is Man, and his inspiration is drawn from the environment in which he lives. Yet, he keenly perceives that “the meaning of things in the green space is continually shaped by the progress of modern civilization, signaling the imminent end of pure native culture.”