PAINTINGS THAT SPEAK
“CHAGAS”: THE PAINTING SERIES
The “CHAGAS” series was painted by the Argentinian artist Néstor Favre-Mossier from 2007-2008. It consists of 14 pieces that portray the disease, its social context, and the artist’s thoughts on why Chagas is considered to be neglected. The leading authority on visual arts in Argentina had the following things to say about the “CHAGAS” series and its creator: “Favre-Mossier’s work paints those infected hearts. It paints the parasite. It paints the ranch. It paints the resigned faces, with their chagasic eyes. It paints blood. It paints what he feels to be a bitter destiny. It paints misfortune. It does so with an unctuous material, in strong brushstrokes. Strong like wounds. And in its planes of contrasting ranges, the aura of Nolde, the ferocity of Munch, the turns and textured marks of Kirchner and Macke appear. German and Nordic expressionists who, more than a sense, suggest a feeling of deep pathos. Expressionism that demands–not a tortured expressionism for its own sake. These paintings could be equivalent to an accusation, but above all else they are a demand. The voice of an authentic artist that screams at the top of his lungs. And the testimony of an art without euphemism, bound deeply in its tale of events, of minor stories, of confrontations, that no one dared to stop in time.” –Doctor Jorge Taverna Irigoyen, President of the National Academy of Fine Arts (2007-2010), Buenos Aires, Argentina. May 2009.
The impact of the series was such that it was widely exhibited at important events, academic spaces, museums, and art galleries, both within Argentina and internationally. Two of the pieces in the series were chosen as part of the World Health Organization’s cultural heritage exhibit in Geneva, Switzerland. It is important to note as well that the artist believes that his work with Chagas disease opened the door for him as an artist and allowed him to take on other series such as “Water” and “Tsé-Tsé, the Fly”.
PAINTER, PHOTOGRAPHER, AND SCULPTOR
Néstor Favre-Mossier was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1962. He is a painter, photographer, sculptor, and graphic designer. His formal art training began in 1983. He participated in workshops with well-known artists in Argentina and abroad. His trips to Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and France introduced him to the study of Italian art and flamenco. His personal history and familiarity with multiple visual art disciplines combine in his work, through which he has addressed current and complex topics such as children’s rights, the Falklands War, Chagas disease, African sleeping sickness, and water.
His work is in the possession of the following institutions: World Health Organization and the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland; the National Program for the Fight Against African Sleeping Sickness in the Republic of Chad; the General Archive of the Nation and the National Council of Scientific and Technological Research in Argentina; and museums, educational establishments, and private collections around the world.
His work has been reviewed by long-standing notable artists in his country; by the president of the Academy of Fine Arts of Argentina in 2009; and by the head of the Program for Control and Surveillance of Human African Trypanosomiasis (Sleeping Sickness) by the World Health Organization in 2014. He has displayed his work in more than 60 individual shows and a score of collective exhibitions in different parts of the world.