San Ignacio (Agenzia Fides) - "In love" with Chiquitunga. This defines, wholeheartedly, Delfín Roque Ruiz Pérez - for all of us "Koki" - the artist who is preparing, after the memorable altarpiece for the Pope’s Mass in Paraguay in 2015, a monumental work for the beatification of Chiquitunga (see Fides 2/5/2018).
The painter is making a huge panel for the altar of the ceremony on May 23, which will be presided over by Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in Nueva Olla stadium in Asunción. The work will contain the depiction of the face of María Felicia de Jesús Sacramentado Guggiari Echeverria (this is the complete religious name of the popular Discalced Carmelite). The image will consist of rosaries donated by the faithful, as explained by the artist. 70,000 rosaries are needed for the altarpiece. More than 40,000 have already arrived. These are rosaries which have been "prayed", because, says Koki, "it would have been easy to ask for money and order them, but that is not the spirit".
The artist, who Agenzia Fides visited in his home-atelier, has an original profile. He works with people, uses elements of nature, and prefers collective creation, which must serve to "communicate something to people through the senses". His entire career is mainly inspired by the German Joseph Beuys, for whom "the artist has to look for art among people, not in a museum, since every human being has the ability to create".
His home country, San Ignacio, land of the first of the Reducciones Jesuits, has already commissioned him a work to commemorate the 500 years of Spanish presence in the Americas.
"At the time of the Reducciones, we got up every day at the same time to go to work, to Mass, to live worthily and in a holy way, the Jesuits said. Instead, for the Guaraní every day was different. Then there was the alternation of the seasons, the time of the wheat harvest, that of sowing". The Indians rebelled against the concept and use of the time imposed on them by the Europeans, says Koki. After the first rebellions, one of which spread the blood of the first Paraguayan saint, San Roque Gonzalez and his companions, the Reducciones were an example of the fusion of two cultures, the European (Italian and Spanish) and the Guaraní, in harmony, that expressed a unique sculpture, music and architecture, called "barocco guaraní", which marked an era and remains in the great school of Paraguayan violin makers. (SM) (Agenzia Fides, 12/5/2018)