DARIO JARA, Mask, clovers and else, 2018. OLA Gallery&Ateljé, Photo: Karen Olavarria


The call of nature

September 15 - November 18, 2018



Dario Jara Morante (1972 - ) is a contemporary artist who was born in the city of Cusco, Peru. His artistic life started after leaving school when he tried to find a meaning for his own life and future. He'd always been a sketcher without any technical knowledge, and didn't have the idea of devoting himself to painting which he saw difficult to develop. Dario initially studied civil engineering for two years, but then dropped the program to study art at the School of Fine Arts in Cusco, one of the most prestigious art schools in Latin America.


Dario Jara’s career as an artist started at the age of 23. While in art school the struggle of finding himself and pushing himself to improve and innovate drove him to create - together with other peers - a student circle called Abraxas, a group of friends with the same ideas and vision about art and the world. They made three collective exhibitions showing the results of a combination of ideas and encapsulating the passion they had for painting. Dario described this process as ‘go
ing back to nature and its impressions, using them as an excuse for painting in their own individual context’.  After two years of sharing ideas and the bohemian lifestyle Abraxas came to an end. The group remained friends but they set off in different directions to pursue their own individual paths. Dario Jara and his partner (the artist, Karina Loayza) dedicated themselves to continue painting.


Dario Jara lives in the centre of Cusco. He enjoys painting in his atelier accompanied by his pets, two dogs and a cat. Sometimes they leave paw prints on the not yet completed canvases. Jara just laughs and appreciates the ‘artistic’ touch of his loyal companions. Dario Jara is a true devotee of nature. He enjoys long walks with his dogs over the vast and beautiful landscapes that surround Cusco, visiting Inca ruins and observing the changes of the landscape and environment: rain, snow, wind, storms, the different seasons and the ‘behaviour’ of the sun: one day soothing, but the next day severe and unrelenting. This idea is reflected in his painting “the sun”, a self portrait where his face is reflecting the sun while ondulant waves surround his whole body as a connection, as self-love, as an interpretation of continuity.


 Dario Jara's art is described as an art without a name, the art of today, which he simply refers to as contemporary. His indigenous roots and connection with the earth show through in his ideas, having nature as a powerful source of inspiration and metaphor. Jara's work is primarily done with oil based paints, however he uses and experiments with other materials, including natural pigments and pastes to get to the a unique or specific look.


Jara’s art is always a struggle against commercial art, his base in Cusco is filled with  tourists from all over the world, always looking for local souvenirs related to the times of the Inca empire or Spanish colonialism. However the lack of art galleries dedicated to modern art in the city drove him to look elsewhere to exhibit his work. Despite this Jara continues to work from Cusco the beautiful scenery and landscapes his constant inspiration.


In this exhibition “The call of nature”, OLA Gallery & Atelier presents two moments in the life of the artist: the first one called Figures, here Jara has progressed from the days of just sketching to finding and exploring his form as an artist. To explore the human form in different situations. Contrast and occupation of space with ondulant lines translated as energy and connection. These studies essentially the missing link on Jara's quest to find his own style.


The second moment is called Metaphors, here Dario Jara looks back to nature and reflects what he literally sees, giving to it a symbolic meaning, unity, connection and transition. He manifests nature as the main theme and as the force that claims the artist in order to create powerful images.


In this exhibition we present an artist that gives to the beholder a material world that translates the voice of what he sees, has a name and expresses itself into different patterns. An artist who considers himself as one tiny part of “an everything” and places on the canvas layer by layer the most powerful and beautiful force. The call of nature.