Sandra Vásquez de la Horra

1967 | Viña del Mar, Chile

Chilean draughtswoman and video artist.

Sandra Vásquez de la Horra studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Valparaiso from a very young age, before moving to Santiago, where she joined Chile Crea, an artist and student movement in favour of democracy. After studying visual communications and graphic design at her hometown university, she emigrated to Germany with her family in 1995; first to Düsseldorf, where she studied under Jannis Kounellis and Rosemarie Trockel* at the Kunstakademie, then to Cologne, where she studied at the Kunshochschule für Medien. S. Vásquez de la Horra is known for her humorous and unique body of work, both prolific and extremely original. She traces her drawings on sheets of paper, which she then dips in wax, covering them with a delicate patina that softens the lines; this process makes the lines more palpable, and increases the paper’s material dimension. These works are highly personal and imbued with multiple cultural and artistic references, and conjure up a magical and grotesque world populated by strange creatures. The artist’s fascination for myths, popular culture, and religion manifests itself in her work through the appropriation of figures from various cultures, such as Ellegua, a deity from Yoruba mythology, as well as Orpheus, Saint Sebastian, and Saint Anthony.

While her works mostly relate to a vision of life, death, and sexuality that is at once subtle, whimsical, and full of humour, they also hint at political references, such as in Conspiración (2006) or Patibulo (“gallows”, 2006), both subtle takes on violence and power. The presentation of her drawings – each of which constitutes a work in its own right – as installations of varying forms and dimensions, creates short-lived configurations, the narrative structures of which remain open and ambiguous. In 2009, S. Vásquez de la Horra was awarded the Daniel and Florence Guerlain Drawing Prize in Paris.

Giulia Lamoni

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
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