The urban landscape of Cali, a city located to the southwest of Bogotá, is a central theme in the work of Ever Astudillo. Among the most important draftsmen of his generation, he drew inspiration from life on the streets. Among the archive of photographs taken as preparatory studies for his drawings and prints are idiosyncratic scenes that capture the distinctive atmosphere of working-class neighborhoods in the 1970s. At once exploration and documentation of the human and architectural landscape, Astudillo’s analytical approach to image-making combines different mediums, processes, and techniques. The monochromatic range of this lithograph and its awkward perspective of a street corner evoke the informal aesthetics of photojournalism. The shadowy silhouette of the body at the left of the image simultaneously indicates a presence and an absence, an ambiguity that may reference the "desaparecidos", people who were taken hostage and murdered during the civil war that broke out in Colombia in the 1970s.
This text was created in collaboration with the University of Maryland Department of Art History & Archaeology and written by Patricia Ortega-Miranda.