Art In Uncertain Times: Martin Gordopelota Reports From Southern Argentina
"I was thinking about not doing paintings related to football anymore, at least not exclusively that," Martin Gordopelota muses at one point during his report for Art in Uncertain Times. "I started a project where I'm using random photos I find on my phone as a sketch and paint them in a 9:16 ratio like the phone screen. So now that football is dead, I felt like it was a great moment to make this shift." While checking with artists in Latin America, we reached out to our friend in Buenos Aires, only to find out he recently moved out of the city and now lives with his girlfriend in Patagonia.
"Obviously, we were more than intrigued to hear about how the pandemic has affected life in one of the most remote regions of the world. Maybe it was an intuition, I don't know, but in December, my girlfriend, our two dogs, and I, we all moved 1000km south from Buenos Aires to a little city in Patagonia called Viedma. Now we live in a much more quiet environment. One of the main reasons we wanted to move out of the capital city is because we believe that these kinds of ways of living in huge urban centers is no longer sustainable in the long term. For awhile I was suffering a lot of FOMO because a lot of family and friends still live in Buenos Aires, and it was difficult to see them all getting together and me living elsewhere—but well, now we are all in the same situation."
Over the years Gordopelota's work was focused on Argentina's most popular sport, football or soccer, especially the amateur league and the accompanying fanaticism surrounding. But it seems like his move and the current hiatus on team sports everywhere came together provided the opportunity to try out new things.
"Since we moved here I couldn't find a studio, so I took the empty room of the house and I improvise here. I paint a lot these days. I did, like, 10 paintings in isolation. There are a couple of football-related ones, but the most recent ones are all about random stuff from my phone that has to do with what I guess you could call masculinity decay. I have a bittersweet feeling all the time. On one hand, I´m grateful that we moved out, but on the other hand, there is still a lot of anxiety. I'm trying to live day by day, feeling like shit sometimes, and other times, happy to have a home and feel safe, knowing that this is a privilege. My girlfriend Anita is a baking/pastry master, so we eat all day and I have huge acidity/heartburn twice a week. But I can't complain and I have nothing to say about the future. I have absolutely no clue what will happen!"
Text compiled by Sasha Bogojev