Mateo Blanco is a recognized conceptual artist known for creating vivid portraits from unusual materials that have captured people’s imagination. His portrait of Jennifer Lawrence was made with 10,000 peanuts and the flag of the United States from pieces of cloth. Much of Mateo’s work is inspired by typography and exploration of the word-art. From Cape Town to Paris, his art can be found in private collections and museums all over the world. Now, his work “Colombia By Mateo Blanco” is part of Francia Escobar’s renowned private collection in Bogota, Colombia.
Francia has chosen some of Mateo’s pieces for her private collection. Francia’s artistic acumen and an eye for spotting new talent, developed over many years of curating and putting together a valuable personal collection, positions Mateo Blanco as a promising emerging artist. His inclusion in her collection, which is considered one of the most important in Colombia, is a testament to her belief in his potential.
Over the years Francia has assembled one of the most important private collections of Colombian art that includes works from painters like Alejandro Obregón, Enrique Grau, Fernando Botero, Ana Mercedes Hoyos and Luis Caballero, spanning over 140 years of Colombian art history.
She also has a long record of promoting new artists and is the founder the “Francia Scholarship” program, an initiative born from an informal meeting space known as Arte es Colombia that was organized to support and bring together young talent. In recognition of her important work and unstinting efforts of promoting the arts and education in Colombia she is a recipient of national and international awards, which include the UN Women Together Award (received in New York at the Hall of the General Assembly of the United Nations) as well as the Ojo de Plata Award (received in Merida, Mexico).
In Colombia she was awarded with three important distinctions: Epifanio Garay Medal from the Cartagena School of Fine Arts (Bolivarian Art Museum), Santa Marta Museum of Modern Contemporary Art Award, and the Museum of Modern Art of Bogota Award. Francia Escobar is also honored by a plaque on the wall of The Cartagena Museum of Modern Art that celebrates her generosity and patronage.
A lover of art, she is committed to promoting artistic culture in all regions of Colombia, saying: “Culture is a tool for Love and Peace.” For her it’s very a clear mission. As a woman who fights with all her passion, Francia never gives up when it comes to promoting that which she believes can make us all more human; she feels that over time her commitment for art is stronger than ever before!
“I am not an artist, or a musician…indeed I do not practice art per se, but I live, I feel and deeply believe that art is a tool that helps people grow and develop their most human part, and nourishes the spirit. I am a teacher by profession and by inclination. My interest and awareness of artistic expression started in childhood. From an early age I fell in love with all of the spontaneous and joyous manifestations of art, dance, painting and poetry that I saw in my native city, Cartagena. I grew up with the music of John Field, an English musician and distant ancestor, and listening to my French grandmother, who was always playing the piano” she says.
Mateo Blanco has been active in the arts for more than 25 years and is currently living in Orlando, Florida where he is busy working on his art program show in New Smyrna Beach, Florida that will start in 2023. He is very proud that in Bogota his work “Colombia By Mateo Blanco” will occupy a special space in Francia Escobar’s renowned art collection.
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