He came to New York with an idea: to try to give movement to the static horses in his paintings. María Pujato is 27 years old and, since she settled in that great city, a mecca of art in the world, she managed to represent the speed and power of polo in her paintings, which today quadrupled the price they had in Buenos Aires.
The young woman dedicated a whole year to developing this technique in the New York Academy of Art during a postgraduate study and their works are displayed on the official website of this university priced between US $ 70 and US $ 2,500. This training allowed him to exhibit in recognized international art circuits such as Miami Art Bassel and also the possibility of generating a network of contacts in the American city.-
From her current home on the Upper West Side, where she has lived with her boyfriend for a year, María talks to LA NACION and says that one of his paintings caused a sensation among the American public. “They come looking for Argentine art,” he says.
From the video call plane, you can see a warm space, decorated in neutral colors. The atmosphere is neat. In the background, one of his works stands, which contrasts with the place: the figure of a horse stands out, surrounded by vibrant colors, and the mark of its passage, as a record of where it comes from and where it is going.
Mery Pujato, artist Credit: Mery Pujato
From the age of three, he always painted and drew horses and, throughout his life, he was never far from them. “I love them, I love drawing them. I started making polo horses because I copied them from magazines, when I got tired of drawing them eating grass,” he says. These animals are part of her first memories as a child, during his childhood in Córdoba, where his family spent time with some friends who ran races. When he recounts those memories, the artist speaks of “charm”, as a kind of fascination at first sight. Years later, from the window of her room in Buenos Aires, the young woman would see, day after day, a riding field. The horses are always close.
Mery describes her work as an extension of her body. “It’s hard to explain,” he says, but he tries. “I feel like it’s part of me, there in a painting”, and points to the picture hanging behind him. For the young woman painting is her way of experiencing freedom and expressing the way she conceives the world. “It is part of how I am: quite happy, I like color and life. I live in peace, in the daily I like neutral colors, but when I go to paint I need all the color and see something that brings me happiness “.
His training in the art world dates back to his childhood, strongly encouraged by his mother. Maria attended drawing, painting and ceramics classes for three hours a week as extracurricular activities. Moments that she describes filled with joy, with a latent awareness of freedom. “There was no good or bad, because who can say that something is right or wrong in art. It was my moment of relaxation.”-
When school finished, I study graphic design at the University of Palermo, which, he says, allowed him to have an adequate management of space in his works. “Everything that I have always studied enriched me. The career helped me a lot to think about balances, balance, sizes,” he says.
When he lived in Buenos Aires, he worked during the day in an office and rented a studio in the evening to paint. It took three to five months to finish a painting.
But when you get to the big city, he began to hear that his jobs were priced at higher prices. Over the months, added to his experience in the New York Academy of Art and international exhibitions, his paintings began to handle other values in the market. “It is sold four times more expensive than in Argentina”, indicates the young woman.
This last time, in New York, with the rhythm that the institution demanded of her, Mery dedicated the three months of the summer to preparing her final exhibition. “I painted six paintings in three months, it is not normal. I ended up exhausted.”
The work he produced during that intensive workshop was later on display for sale and was very well received by the public. “Last year, I sold three small paintings, at the beginning of this year, another two, and now I have just sold the largest painting I made in my life, which was all the rage. It is huge, more than a meter high and wide. And several people wrote to me to buy it. ” The latter was priced and sold for US $ 2,500, the artist’s most expensive painting to date. “It gives you an endorsement to have studied here, to have sold in New York, to have exhibited in Miami Art Basel. It is adding up,” he explains.
The young woman tells that there are many who come to the institution interested in buying “Argentine art”. “Most of them are Americans, from Texas, from New York or the surrounding areas who follow the people of the academy, seek argentinian art, as they say. Here it is very normal to buy paintings and society is attentive to the world of art. For example, every Thursday 50 shows are inaugurated. “
In some of his works the flag of the country appears. But, polo and horses, in particular, are part of national culture icons, which is why it draws the attention of those who seek Argentinian art.
His style could be thought of within abstract expressionism, which is characterized by having marks of the artist’s debauchery, of his most spontaneous creation through brush strokes – which differentiates him from what is known as figurative art. “Sometimes it bored me that it’s too perfect a horse, and that’s why I started to try to replicate the movement and make a kind of mixture, that it remains somewhat abstract, but that you keep seeing the horse forever. For now I love it” .
Regarding business in the art world, María always knew that she wanted to paint horses and was never conditioned by fashions or trends. “There are many artists who are adapting to what is in fashion, but I always said what I wanted to do: paint horses. I am breaking them, I am making them a little more figurative, it depends on what I need at the moment.”
At first, she was afraid to dedicate herself to art because she did not want to be conditioned by the tastes of others. “It was difficult for me to know what to study because I did not want to lose that freedom to do whatever I wanted when painting.” Today, that no longer matters. “If people like my paintings well and, but, also,” he adds with determination.
The artist says, with a quota of mysticism, that all her plans or projects always come true. “When I think about something serious, sooner or later it comes, for example, I always said I wanted to paint in New York.” Now, her next goal is to find galleries in the American city so she can leave her paintings on display, because Mery has decided that she wants to live in Argentina.
“I miss nature a lot, also family and friends, that’s why I want to be based in Buenos Aires. I feel that when this year ends I will have done everything I needed,” he says. And he concludes: “New York is incredible, but I have no horses in the window.”