02 August 2022


The work of Peruvian master artist, Christian Bendayán is on display at the National Library. The exhibition, which was launched on July 28 as part of Peru’s National Day celebration, will run from July 29 – August 20. 

Titled Amazonian Counter-Files, the exhibition features contemporary, colourful paintings and ceramic pieces which depict women warriors.  According to one commentary about the international artist’s work, “Bendayán incorporates gender nonconforming figures, confronting viewers with subversive aspects to gender and sexual identity relative to the culture norms of Peru.”  The pieces are carefully mounted on white and yellow backdrops to accentuate their details.

Given the scantily dressed forms painted and portrayed by Bendayán, eyebrows may be raised and so there is a sign advising of the PG rating of the exhibition at its entrance.

His Excellency, David Malaga, Ambassador for Peru in Trinidad and Tobago and NALIS understand that there will be much discussion as the images may be considered risky and so, as part of the exhibition, a panel discussion on the topic: Censorship: Reconstructing and Deconstructing Art, will be held in August.  Panellist will include Bendayán, and personnel from the creative arts departments of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and other institutions.

Speaking on the issue of censorship, Paula Greene, NALIS’ Executive Director said, “Libraries for years have wrestled with the issue of censorship and accordingly this topic is important to bring to the fore. Censors often press public institutions, like libraries, to suppress and remove information they judge inappropriate for public consumption.  In a modern society, persons must be able to read or view material and make up their own minds about it.”

Christian Bendayán is a visual artists and curator, known for being one of the most prominent representative researchers and promoters of Amazonian art. Self-taught, his work is deeply inspired by the rich history, visual culture and biodiversity of the Amazonian Region. In 2012 he received the National Culture Prize awarded by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.  Throughout his career he has represented Peru, participating in different biennials, triennials and exhibiting in museums around the world, including the Venice Art Biennial (Italy 2019) and the Museum of arts of the University of Guadalajara (Mexico 2021 – 2022).