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BENITO QUINQUELA MARTIN
Benito Quinquela Martin was a painter, engraver and muralist.

He was born on March 1, 1890 in Buenos Aires and he died on January 28 1977 in the same city. From a very poor family, he was abandoned at Expósitos’s Orphanage. He lived six years in the Patronato de la Infancia (ex Padelai of San Telmo) until he was adopted by a man from Genoa whose surname was Chinchella and who had a coal-yard in La Boca. As during the day he had to work at the port and in the evening he attended a modest academy of drawing in La Boca, he left primary school. However, he ended up successfully exhibiting all over America and Europe.

He is considered the painter of the Riachuelo, not only because he was the first to reflect the port life, but also because of his distinct work. He painted murals of big dimension depicting the strong expression of the activity, vigor and roughness of life in the port and shipyards which was typical in the first decades of the last century in La Boca.

He was, like a few, tightly linked to the place and daily life of the area he belonged to. He painted the work of ordinary men of that time, their streets and their skies. He created a language without hypocrisy but full of metaphors that established him as an extraordinary and talented artist.

In this rather dull Argentina, his work pays tribute to work, expressed in a simple language and through an exceptional use of colour which goes beyond the limits of his work and floods the neighbourhood of La Boca. The grey of the fog and the black of the smoke that dominated La Boca were changed by the bright inspiration of Quinquela who motivated all the people from the neighbourhood to change the colours.

 

Quinquela Martín
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