Roberto Edwards - Concepción Balmes (Chile) Cuerpos Pintados
Roberto Edwards
Concepción Balmes (Chile) Cuerpos Pintados - Painted Bodies
Archival Lambda Color Photograph
1997, Printed 2008
51 1/8 x 39 3/8 inches

Signed, titled, dated and numbered (edition of 7) on verso.

Roberto Edwards - Pedro Ruiz (Colombia) #2 Cuerpos Pintados
Roberto Edwards
Pedro Ruiz (Colombia) #2 Cuerpos Pintados - Painted Bodies
Archival Lambda Color Photograph
1997, Printed 2008
51 1/8 x 39 3/8 inches

Signed, titled, dated and numbered (edition of 7) on verso.

Roberto Edwards - Pedro Ruiz (Colombia) #3 Cuerpos Pintados
Roberto Edwards
Pedro Ruiz (Colombia) #3 Cuerpos Pintados - Painted Bodies
Archival Lambda Color Photograph
1997, Printed 2008
51 1/4 x 39 1/2 inches

Signed, titled, dated and numbered (edition of 7) on verso.

Roberto Edwards - Pedro Ruiz (Colombia) Cuerpos Pintados
Roberto Edwards
Pedro Ruiz (Colombia) Cuerpos Pintados - Painted Bodies
Archival Lambda Color Photograph
1997, Printed 2008
59 3/4 x 40 1/8 inches

Signed, titled, dated and numbered (edition of 7) on verso.

Roberto Edwards - Verónica Rubio (Spain) #1 Cuerpos Pintados
Roberto Edwards
Verónica Rubio (Spain) #1 Cuerpos Pintados - Painted Bodies
Archival Lambda Color Photograph
1997, Printed 2008
39 1/2 x 66 5/8 inches

Signed, titled, dated and numbered (edition of 7) on verso.

Roberto Edwards - Verónica Rubio (Spain) #2 Cuerpos Pintados
Roberto Edwards
Verónica Rubio (Spain) #2 Cuerpos Pintados - Painted Bodies
Archival Lambda Color Photograph
1997, Printed 2008
51 1/8 x 39 3/8 inches

Signed, titled, dated and numbered (edition of 7) on verso.

Roberto Edwards - Verónica Rubio (Spain) # 58 Cuerpos Pintados
Roberto Edwards
Verónica Rubio (Spain) # 58 Cuerpos Pintados - Painted Bodies
Archival Lambda Color Photograph
2002, Printed 2008
47 1/4 x 75 5/8 inches

Signed, titled, dated and numbered (edition of 7) on verso.

Roberto Edwards - Maria Gracia Donoso (Chile) # 2 Cuerpos Pintados
Roberto Edwards
Maria Gracia Donoso (Chile) # 2 Cuerpos Pintados - Painted Bodies
Archival Lambda Color Photograph
1997, Printed 2008
51 1/8 x 39 3/8 inches

Signed, titled, dated and numbered (edition of 7) on verso.

Roberto Edwards - Maria Gracia Donoso (Chile) # 6 Cuerpos Pintados
Roberto Edwards
Maria Gracia Donoso (Chile) # 6 Cuerpos Pintados - Painted Bodies
Archival Lambda Color Photograph
1997, Printed 2008
51 1/8 x 39 3/8 inches

Signed, titled, dated and numbered (edition of 7) on verso.

Roberto Edwards - Helena Torres (Argentina) # 214 Cuerpos Pintados
Roberto Edwards
Helena Torres (Argentina) # 214 Cuerpos Pintados - Painted Bodies
Archival Lambda Color Photograph
1997, Printed 2009
51 1/8 x 39 3/8 inches

Signed, titled, dated and numbered (edition of 7) on verso.

Cuerpos Pintados

03/24/2012 - 05/05/2012

Cuerpos Pintados is a unique project that marries the concerns of painting, performance art, documentation and photography. In the last 25 years more than 100 painters and countless models have participated in a rich interactive dialog exploring the potential of the body as both a landscape and a three dimensional canvas. My introduction to this project started with the book, Painted Bodies, which was published by Abbeville Press in 1996. The preliminary 45 painters were from Chile, as the studio is located in Santiago; however, soon painters from all over South America, Europe and the United States wanted an opportunity to work collaboratively at Taller Cuerpos Pintados.

Roberto Edwards photographs have been exhibited in over 40 museums throughout the world and have intrigued, fascinated, and amazed viewers. His photographs are accurate records of an organic project that has endless variations and morphs into an amazingly productive exploration of the expressive power of the body. When I first approached Roberto Edwards about exhibiting his work in a fine arts photography gallery, as opposed to a museum environment, he was reluctant. He thought that the American sensibility was too conservative and 'provincial' to embrace and appreciate his photographs in the spirit that they were created. To his surprise, art lovers young and old were thrilled and challenged by this visionary project. Happily, in various exhibitions over the last 5 years, we have placed an extensive number of Mr. Edwards photographs into collections that have been national and international in scope.

Initially we met at the workshop in Santiago and viewed the various photographs that had been part of the museum exhibitions. We discussed our proposed plan to show Roberto's photographs at Art Fairs in the U.S. During the next several days we had the opportunity of examining dozens of boxes that contained the original slides from each of the shoots that took place at Taller Cuerpos Pintados. Since most of the work predates digital photography, we made our selection from 35 mm slides. It is hard to image the life, vitality and energy the pictures possessed when they were enlarged (utilizing a lambda press) to the corresponding sizes of the work in the catalog. The surfaces are tactile and dance with color and movement. Each picture possesses a spirit and mood unique to its creation.

On our last visit to Cuerpos Pintados Taller we had an opportunity to watch both a body painting session and a subsequent photographic shoot. I realized that the process of painting the body takes an amazing amount of time, energy, vision and discipline. Unlike a 2 dimensional piece of paper or canvas the movements of the body, and the variety of body parts compound the challenge of painting a 3 dimensional object. Some of the painting projects are very detailed and precise and others are looser and more expressive. The painting must be completed in a day. The artist's intentions are clearly manifest in the final product. However, the body as both subject and object definitely help determine the painter's outcome.

Watching Roberto Edwards photograph is like watching a drama unfold, but one that has no linear narrative. Initially the actions are directed by Roberto, but invariably the models start to move and strike a myriad of poses on their own which derive from an almost dance - like ritual. When Roberto photographs he never corrects or changes the original painting, but uses tools like cropping, changing focus, and compressing space through depth of field and f-stop selection. He also has the cinematic equivalents of long shot, medium shot, and close up at his disposal. Sometimes he builds images through multiple exposures and montaging. Under the heat of the lights of the studio, the movements of the models activates their skin and the paint starts change as their bodies starts to absorb pigment. The paint smudges and the borders blend as the body sweats. All of this is recorded as another variable in the process of documenting the performance of the model.

The group of photographs pictured in this catalog represent the third chapter in our journey through the archives of Cuerpos Pintados. As a testament to the richness of this ongoing cooperative artistic exploration the subjects, moods, palettes and intentions of the pictures keep unfolding in new and surprising ways. Some painters produce body paintings that are multi-media using props, projections and light while many express themselves purely with paint. After 5 years of having the privilege of exhibiting and finding collectors to share the Cuerpos Pintados project with, we are constantly teased into wondering what we will discover next. Our journey with this wonderful body of work seems closer to the beginning than to the end.

Holden Luntz
March 6, 2012