December 2011

Luis Zilveti “Del Otro Lado del Espejo”

With an unconventional style of painting seen in Bolivia, Luis Zilveti’s last art exhibition was an invitation for more.

By: Paola Garcia
Cochabamba- Bolivia

Luis Zilvety
Photo: Paola Garcia

“Creation is always a quest. It is a self demand for more,” Luis Zilveti says. This Bolivian painter who settled in Paris since 1970 was in Cochabamba last October with his art exhibition, ‘Del OtroLado del Espejo’ organized by the Centro Pedagogico y Cultural Simon I. Patiño. In this visit he shared a coffee and talked about his work; “painting is a process of observation and meditation when you see the painting finished it is still possible to think of it again and improve your work.” Luis Zilveti is a simple man who likes to join with friends to remember high school years and make jokes, but when the moment to talk about art in Bolivia turns up he is very serious. “In Bolivia we have to take out of our heads the conformity and stop saying that for Bolivia it is enough, something more is always possible.”

In 2010 Luis Zilveti (La Paz- Bolivia, 1941) celebrated fifty years of artistic creation. “In high school, I was good at Math and Drawing” he says. In fact, he was only 18 years old when he had his first art exhibition and ever since he’s never stopped. He studied in the National Academy of Fine Arts in La Paz and was awarded with the “Gran Premio del Salón Pedro Domingo Murillo” in 1964 and 1969. In 1967, he won a scholarship in the CitéInternationale des Arts in Paris where he experienced new techniques and improved his art. Since 1960 he has had more than 70 individual art exhibitions and more than 100 collective art exhibitions in important art galleries of North and South America and Europe. His art is acclaimed internationally; for example, in 1975 he won the second prize of the UNESCO and in 1993 he got the E.J.A. prize in Monte Carlo. Furthermore, in 1997 he won the first prize in ink drawing for the BHN Foundation. Luis Zilveti also paints on a larger scale, and between 1969 and 2009 he has done more than 25 mural paintings in Bolivia and France.

A painting is a moment of encounter between the artist and the spectator and time is needed to understand Luis Zilveti’s work. The first impression you get are just spots of light and shadow, but when you stay a little bit closer to the painting or you step behind and take a look from afar you can see that little by little, images come out of the blues, reds, oranges, and grays. With delicate lines and precise brush strokes Luis Zilveti creates real masterpieces of art. The spectator and his encounter with the abstract and figurative expressionism are from the other side of the mirror, from the other side of the painting

Three new mural painting projects are Luis Zilveti’s next challenge. He’s 70 years old and he’s ready to go up on a platform to make it.

For more information about the painter and his work you can visit

A new law to overcome inequality in education

This long-overdue law enforces equal access to education in Bolivia and also includes the indigenous languages of Bolivia in public primary school timetables. The government´s priority is to enforce equality between the indigenous and non-indigenous people of Bolivia. For this to happen they have to begin by giving them the same chances from the start. Let’s see how the new law will try to facilitate push towards an equal education – what are the benefits and what are the problems?

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