Josefina Guilisasti, born in Santiago Chile, has used painting and photography to unsettle genre and still life paintings by giving them a sense of mystery. She recently designed dozens of replicas of “Gritones” (screamers) for a major exhibition at LACMA.
Gritones are pre-Hispanic figurines with prominently opened and distorted mouths, which would accompany rituals to bring rain. They were produced by several native cultures, including the Calima and Narino from Colombia; the Condorhuasi from Argentina; and the Mapuche and Diaguita from Chile. Although the size of a fist, they can be menacing, grotesque, but sometimes playful. Guilisasti collaborated with Carlos Fernandez to make these objects in bronze.
Guilisasti received her M.F.A. degree from the University of Chile and a Master’s Degree in History from Adolfo Ibanez University in Chile. She has exhibited her work in the Blanton Museum of Art in Texas and Dumbo Arts Center in New York. She has shown in the Sao Paolo Biennale in 2007 and has received residencies in Argentina and New York. Her work is held in private and public collections such as that of Patrice Phelps de Cisneros. She was nominated by Modern Painters as one of the five next stars coming out of Latin America.