Meet Chile' s visionary artist Mauricio Avayu

- Wednesday, August 19, 2020


Wednesday, August 19 | 1:00- 2:00 PM


New York writer Al Sundel wrote:

"There has never been a visionary artist quite like Mauricio Avayu. He is a top-tier talent who has taken a singular extraordinary turn in modern art. For his work seems to belong to the Quatrocentro, where West European religious art bloomed in quiet green gardens of nativity and crucifixion themes. Leonardo broke with this tradition by concentrating on mother and child, and an elusive feminine smile that hinted at a secret the viewer can only guess at (pregnancy?). Michelangelo also broke with it to show God’s pointing finger almost in eternal touch with humanity’s across a synaptic gap. Michelangelo dared more with his Hebraic ground-breaking statue of King David in slingshot youth.

Quatrochento art was themed to an unschooled mass audience, more Christian in focus than the Nicene Creed. It generally avoided anything Hebraic, paid for by the Church or super rich landowners. At the same time, the teachings of the Jewish fathers to the faithful were for too long to avoid graven images (as flourished in the ancient world). Those Jewish artists who crossed this line by Quatrocentro times did so generally in a blurry style, like an out-of-focus camera that does not recognize clean borders. 

It is fitting that, in an age of time-space union, Avayu has created his own modern vision of ancient Judaic traditions. His major themes are faith and continuity. From Genesis to the Talmud. In a vast array of masterworks that span chronological time. Thus, a pre-rabbinic scholar, with the Book in hand, can embrace a congregant with an expression that broadcasts one of the crucial essences of Judaism: compassion. It is all low key, like the Mona Lisa’s smile. It appears to encompass both the prophetic and rabbinic ages of Judaism, in a style clearer than crystal. Prophet, sage or Talmudic scholar are all compressed for the seeing eye as compassion. The time cannot be dated; like Mona Lisa’s smile, it is eternal.

In the Chilean corner of Latin America, Avayu has created a great body of masterwork, including a gigantic mural. Most details of any piece or parcel, such as fretwork or his clockwork-innards racing horses, can stand as art alone. Recognized in his own country, he is now reaching out to the greater art world itself. He is a revivalist, reviving a lost Judaic civilization in religious and unifying terms in a secular age. We have never seen this before so clearly."


Gloria Garafulich-Grabois is a native of Chile and a citizen of the United States and Croatia. In January 2018, she was awarded the grade of Dame of the Order of Merit Gabriela Mistral. 

Gloria has a life-long commitment to international relations, women's and children issues, literature, the arts, classical and world music and writing, particularly in relation to Gabriela Mistral, Chilean, Latin American and Croatian culture as well as volunteer work. Ms. Garafulich-Grabois graduated from Universidad de Chile.

Currently, Ms. Garafulich-Grabois works in the Center for Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., where she is Director of the Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture and Managing Editor of two highly acclaimed academic journals, The Chesterton Review in its English versionand The Lonergan Review; She is editor of the Spanish, Portuguese,French and Italian editions of The Chesterton Review.  In 2013, she designed and presented the exhibit “Chesterton and Freedom” at the New York Encounter organized by Crossroads Cultural Center. Gloria was curator of the 2013 Rimini Meeting Chesterton Exhibit and Consultant to the stage production of Manalive.

As President of the Gabriela Mistral Foundation, US, Ms. Garafulich-Grabois wrote, produced and directed the documentary "Gabriela Mistral: Her Life, Her Legacy" which was launched at a special event at The New York Times in October 2009. In 2013 the documentary was released in its Spanish version; in 2015 with German subtitles and in 2018 with Polish and Hebrew subtitles. Ms. Garafulich-Grabois is co-editor of the foundation’s special bilingual publication From Chile to the World—70 years of Gabriela Mistral’s Nobel Prize in Literature, and Editor of the foundation’s annual journal The Mistral Review. 

Mrs. Garafulich-Grabois is the Founder and International Director of the Chapter in Chile of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (WDC), the first chapter in Latin America which was launched in June 2013. Mrs. Garafulich-Grabois is a member of the Executive Board of the Croatian Academy of America, a nonprofit organization that promotes the rich literary and intellectual production of Croatia.

In May 2014, Mrs. Garafulich-Grabois curated the US art exhibit “Lily Garafulic: Centenary Celebration” sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile and presented in Washington DC and New York; She then completed the documentary about the Chilean sculptress entitled: “Lily Garafulic: En sus propias palabras” which was presented at a special event celebrating the centenary of her birth at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago,Chile in May 2014 and has since been presented in the US and Crotia, among other places.

Gloria is co-founder of “Mamalluca Chilean Film Festival” in New York, an initiative that aims to promote and highlight the important cinematographic production of Chile in one of the most important cultural centers in the world.





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