In this essay, Julián Sánchez González discusses three works by Arnaldo Roche Rabell, Belkis Ayón, and Purvis Young through the lens of shamanism as a cultural practice. By considering these artists’ spiritual interests, Sánchez González borrows from comparative religious studies and anthropology to open up new methodological avenues for art history. Examining the parallel visual strategies deployed in these works from PAMM’s collection, Sánchez González analyzes these artists’ interest in the otherworldly and supernatural as a way to supersede their immediate sociopolitical contexts and reflect on the contemporary human condition.
Julián Sánchez González
Julián Sánchez González was the recipient of the 2020 CCI Research Fellowship at the Pérez Art Museum Miami. He is a doctoral candidate in Art History at Columbia University in the City of New York, and holds an MA in Art History from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. His research focuses on the relationship between artistic and spiritual practices in the modern and contemporary eras, particularly in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. Sánchez González’s work has been supported by the Fulbright Program, the Ministerio de Cultura de Colombia, and the Fundación COLFUTURO. His writing has been published by the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York and Venezuela; Oxford Art Online; Artsy; the Universidad Tres de Febrero (UNTREF), Buenos Aires; and the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá.