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Apr 25, 2003

Venezuelan artist takes new look at nature

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The explosive growth in Belize’s art scene includes not only local talent, but an eclectic mix of visiting artists and exhibitions. The latest such show to arrive opens tonight at the Image Factory. Patrick Jones has a preview.

Patrick Jones, Reporting

Manuel Piney’s twenty-three paintings and twelve sculptures will adorn the halls of the Image Factory for the next three weeks. It is the Venezuelan artist’s interpretation of the conservation message, that is to use today’s resources in such a way that they are in good shape when the next generation is ready to use them.

Manuel Piney, Painter

“The landscape of my painting is that of an urban city. It’s the city of Caracas, but it could also be any other city. It could be Belize City in the future or even Belmopan in the future. It’s about the contrast of where we live today, the new habitat of humanity, which is the buildings and how man places it on the ground. It’s a landscape where there is no pollution or contamination, where there is respect towards the landscape. Because this is the same landscape that we will be leaving to our future generations, and it is up to us to leave behind a landscape that is not chaotic.”

This chaos of colours in acrylic on canvas is Piney’s fourth exhibition in Belize. But unlike previous works that hung in this gallery, he is challenging the viewer to look beyond the vivid strokes of his brush.

Manuel Piney

“My intent was to take the painted landscape and transport it into sculpture, which is made of iron, cement and wood. By doing this I’m appreciating the landscape in a different form.”

Gilvano Swasey, Curator, Image Factory

“Like most exhibitions, they differ completely, but Piney differs in the sense that it to me it was a little more difficult to hang up than a traditional show…Piney’s theme is not just landscape its not just paintings, its not just sculpture, it’s a whole new idea and what makes it difficult is that many of his pieces are similar, but its difficult in a good way.”

Manuel Piney

“I know there are many Belizeans who are interested in art and there are many artists who are doing many different and interesting things in their exhibitions. But it’s not only for them, all Belizeans are welcome to see my paintings.”

And you can get a feel for the works of Manuel Piney now showing at the Image Factory on North Front Street in Belize City. Patrick Jones, for News 5.

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