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Jorge Nunez

Argentina

Jorge is native to the city of Salta, in northern Argentina, of mixed heritage Aymara and Spanish. He has been a ceramist from an early age and is just completing a degree in fine arts from the University of Salta. Jorge work is inspired in part by pre-Columbian mythology of the northeast of Argentina, like the Pachamama (earth goddess) and Calchaqui Indians, and others are reproductions of archeological pieces from diverse Latin American cultures.

Jorge began by making masks and pieces using a potter’s wheel. However the sound of the traditional ocarinas had always impressed him. He could not get any artist to teach him to make them, for fear of competition. So he decided to teach himself. The hardest part in the beginning was creating the right sounds out of the instruments. The shape itself seemed as if it was predetermined in his unconscious.

Through experimentation, he first created the shape and size. Then it occurred to him to sculpt figurines on top of the ocarinas, using the aesthetic with which he created his masks. One day he found a book in a book shop on Mayan art and he discovered that the engravings and sculptures were very similar to his designs. Upon further reading, he discovered that on Jaina island in Central America, there was a large cemetery where the Mayan dead were buried with their likeness reproduced in a figurine atop an ocarina. However the book did not have any pictures. He has not seen what these ancient ocarinas look like yet, but he has been profoundly impressed to find that through his Aymara heritage he has envisioned ancient Mayan images.


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