Rodolfo Chavarriaga was born in Bogotá, Colombia, S.A. in 1951 He lived in Bogotá until the age of six, moved to Paris for a period of one year, and then returned to Bogotá. Influenced by his grandfather, an impresario and filmmaker, as a young man Chavarriaga showed an interest in sculpture, film, dance, theatre and music. His surrounding changed again a year after returning to Bogotá when his family moved to Medellin, Colombia. Returning to Bogotá one year later, he attended several different schools between the ages of 8 and 13. Was later enrolled at the boarding school Colegio Sugamuxi in Sogamoso, Boyaca. Chavarriaga’s world changed once again the summer of 1966. Fourteen at the time, his whole family migrated to Miami, Florida.
Chavarriaga recognized his love for art early on. With an aptitude for the manual and visual arts, he started to realize his calling and inclination during his youth. He began to display talent in this area while living in Paris as a child. He focused on and had the opportunity to develop his skills in the plastic arts during his schooling in Colombia, enrolling in and excelling at coursework in the arts.
A short time after arriving to Miami Chavarriaga declared he wanted to enhance his knowledge of painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography, and ultimately become an artist. Although he painted and practiced drawing, sculpture, and photography during his teen years, taking art lessons in all the academic institutions he attended, at age nineteen he studied Art at Miami Dade Community College. He work under artists the likes of Pappas, design, Umbel, painting, Nagel, figure drawing, and others, all of whom influenced the way he perceives art. Chavarriaga also started his first business, the General Advertising Agency, at the age of nineteen. He also worked for Rex Art Supply with the restoration of paintings among his responsibilities.
His exposure to art history helped him conceptualize the future of Art and how he might take his place among those who would shape it. These experiences helped shape Chavarriaga’s view of the future of Art and what would become his life long passion. Wondering how much formal training he would need to achieve his goal, Chavarriaga realized the best way to become a good artist would be to study and scrutinize the Masters’ treatment of light, composition and their technique and then work at perfecting his skills over a lifetime.
With this in mind, Chavarriaga moved to New York City in 1973 so he could study the work of the Masters’ first hand and do as much painting as he could. Returning to Miami two years later, he refined his craft working in his home studio in Coral Gables where he hosted and participated in workshops with local artists. Chavarriaga married in 1982 and got busy with the business of raising a family. Having difficulty making ends meet, he founded Scanner Ltda., a company that produced limited editions for other artists and color separations for publications like Vanidades Continental, Magazine Al Dia, Diners Club Magazine of Colombia, and a David Manzur Book.
Chavarriaga’s exposure to different schools, cities, countries, and cultures has given him a greater understanding of people from different walks of life and the capacity to see the world as a whole. While he has been called eclectic, when one gets familiar with his work, it becomes clear his art cannot be divided into different periods. He does candid impressionistic portraits. In addition, he does impressionist paintings of various subject matter, post abstract pieces, and conceptual art. While Chavarriaga works in all these areas simultaneously, his focus is presently on conceptual art were he pushes himself to excel. Although he shies away from labels, presently, Chavarriaga’s creativity is concentrated on what would best be described as conceptual art. To quote him,
“Conceptual art allows the artist total creative freedom - it knows no limits or boundaries. All media are welcomed and accepted, in fact everything and anything goes. It makes us wonder, laugh, cry, feel good or bad, and question things new and old. Most importantly, it makes us think in ways we never have, individually or collectively as a society. It allows us to grow as human beings. The conceptual mind is the womb of the creator, the matrix, and the artist’s hands the soil.”
Chavarriaga’s work is found in private collection in North America (United. States), Europe (France and Spain), and South America (Colombia and Venezuela). Chavarriaga has also displayed/presented his work at collective exhibits including the Miami Dade Community College Exhibit Hall, Miami, Fl., the Coral Gables Library, Coral Gables, Fl., El Cometa Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia (exhibit held in Miami), the IFB International Finance Bank, Miami, Fl. and The Caleb Gallery, Miami, Fl., He also exhibited his work at the Latin American Art Museum in 2001 for the Hispanic Heritage Month and in 2002 during the collective shows for Latin American artists.Art+ Merick's park Coral Gabels,florida
Chavarriaga has also been invited to participate in exhibits in, Spain, France, Italy, Holland, and Belgium
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