Luis Cobelo | June 17th – August 24th, 2024

To view the exhibition online and inquire about prints, please see our Artsy page. 

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About the Artist

Luis Cobelo (born in Acarigua, Venezuela, 1970) studied Philosophy at the University of Zulia. He was raised and became a photographer and artist between Venezuela and Spain. Working independently across borders since 2001, Luis has developed documentary projects in the Americas, Asia and Europe, and has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers worldwide. His work is currently focused on art and the production of photo books and exhibitions.

He is interested in fantasy, magical realism, and popular culture (primarily from Latin America), where he generates stories from his perspective, reflecting on the process of transforming the everyday into the unusual, from tragic to comedic and vice versa.

Inspired by literature, popular culture, cinema, poetry, myths, and traditions (including lies and gossip) he relies on the use of different types of realities that could well be called magical to create parallel worlds tailored to his imagination.

From 1993 to the present, Luis has participated in countless art exhibits and photography festivals worldwide, individually and collectively.

He created his first photo-book Zurumbático(shortlisted in PhotoEspaña and Arles, among others), in the Colombian Caribbean, to reveal the magical spirit of this part of the world. The book has fascinated people around the globe, and the exhibition of this work has traveled across oceans (between 2017 to the present) to Italy, México, the United States, Spain, Costa Rica, Portugal, Venezuela and the Netherlands.

Chas Chas, his second photo-book (shortlisted in Arles and Lens) is another collection of fantasies, mysteries and magical stories from Buenos Aires, Argentina (the exhibition of this work has traveled to Italy, Venezuela and LA between 2020 and 2023.)

His third photo-book, Te Amo (shortlisted in Arles and exhibited in LA in 2023) explores and questions aspects of Latin American machismo, from a personal, provocative, sarcastic, serious, and ironic perspective, through the Mexican fotonovela.

He is based in San Francisco, California.

Zurumbático is an endless journey to the place where One Hundred Years of Solitude, the literary work of the writer Gabriel García Márquez was born.

A story full of extraordinary essence, contained in thousands of Latin American villages, roots of a gigantic empirical hemisphere, passionate, forgotten, fickle, violent, improvised and above all, happy. Aracataca is the writer’s native town in where the inspiration of his unique Macondo originates.

This place and its surroundings, close to the Caribbean region of Colombia, is my starting point. The inspirational leitmotiv was the García’s Marquéz book, and the result, was a great series of unique and spontaneous images; an intimate process of self exploration, poetic, magical, dreamy, occasionally painful, charged with symbolism and enigmatic stories, connected with being a continent and that, for me, meant a rebirth as an individual who has nourished himself with that bleeding Latin American spinal cord.

Zurumbático is a tunnel of feelings, sensations, impressions, and special events, in which I enter and leave as I wish. Immersed in this dimension, I understood and reconfirmed that the unusual, the everyday, the comic, even the tragic, has no explanation, neither asked nor sought.

It is what it is.

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