An artist trujillano in Lima

By Alcides Espelucín

Mr. Macedonio de la Torre, an artist from Trujillo who has just arrived from the most active centers of culture in the world, is here in Lima for a brief visit. Several years ago, this painter impressed artists and critics from this capital with the admirable waxen heads that he had brought from his aristocratic native city.

This time, the traveling artist has not brought sculptures; instead, his is offering oil paintings, pastels, and watercolors in which the luminous landscape of Italy or the gray perspectives of Lutecia have been imprisoned with singular mastery.

In reality, for those who know the prodigious eclecticism of his spirit, this displacement of creative activity is not surprising. A refined and fresh soul of an artist lives in Macedonio de la Torre. Music, sculpture and painting have successively been the channels through which this soul has emerged into the world of expression and life. Like the Renaissance artists, the secrets of all esthetic disciplines are no stranger to this great temperament. He has approached everything with love and effusion and has obtained fertile achievements in all of his endeavors. Just try out his musical renditions and his plastic essays of yesterday and his recent paintings, bloated with light and color.

Macedonio de la Torre belongs to that brilliant group that emerged from Trujillo shortly after our “colonied” generation. This group was rich, homogeneous and solid in this tranquil colonial city (lavish with lineage but orphan, up to now, of noble esthetic restlessness) which gave us, amongst other significant figures, a lyrical thinker like Antenor Orrego, a vernacular poet like César Vallejo, a literary landscape artist like José Eulogio Garrido, a “jam packed” orator like Haya de la Torre and a sketcher like Esquerriloff. Macedonio was, at the forefront of the group, a man of exacerbated sensitivity; an artist of heightened nerves; a surprisingly intuitive man that one day tore prodigious melodies from his violin and the next day set the face of one of his expectant comrades on canvass or in clay.

One fine day he set sail for Europe. He needed to submit his great esthetic vocation to serious discipline. Postcards sent from Dresde, Munich, Berlin, Brussels, Rome, Florence and Paris informed us, from time to time, of the new perspectives on art that his spirit had found in the eternal heart of the Old World. The articles and criticism published in the newspapers of this capital told us of his progress and achievements. One day he was compared to Utrillo, the painter from the poor neighborhoods of Paris; another touted him as a great colorist or expert luminist. Some even saw some manifestations of on target creationist and surrealist achievements in his work. In sum “the entire gamut and the whole muse.”

The artist has recently brought his restless and expressive profile to our capital. The surprise couldn’t be more agreeable or cordial. I have come- he told us- on family business. I will be here one or two weeks and will then spend a few days in Trujillo and will be off once again to Europe to finish my painting studies. I have brought a few oil paintings, watercolors etc. that I was employed to do in Paris and some others that I have brought to exhibit in this city at the insistence of a group of friends. All in all, this is no more than work from a studio, evolution and trajectory; one could say that these are elements for the work that I have promised myself I will finish upon my return.

We went to see his paintings and could not help but be surprised at the artist’s great progress. The distance is certainly great from the simple and brilliant “test Runs” done in Trujillo to his work painted in Italy and France. In the former we can see that improvisations, emotional sparks and a light touch prevail; in the latter, we sense a secure and personal technique and the artist’s creative restlessness. Macedonio de la Torre is amongst those artists who have taken the best advantage of the benefits that European art has to offer. This means that this artist will produce works of great value in the future. Macedonio de la Torre possesses a unique imagination and the substantial elements necessary to exercise it.

Lima, April 1930