Miguel Vilca, often referred to as an “Amazonista,” is originally from Arequipa, Peru with Andean roots but has been living in the central Amazonian city of Pucallpa since 1999. Miguel’s Andean Indigeneity sets him apart. His oblique gaze incorporates a reference to Western Christian motifs seldom seen in Amazonian artists works yet not absent from the region’s colonialist past.
“To breathe in sepia and black in the midst of this greenery, you need an excuse, a story, or to witness many,” he claims. Vilca’s exquisitely rendered charcoal drawings evoke the Western classical masters (Caravaggio, Rubens, Zurbarán, etc) reviving the testimonies of female bodies exuding myths through their very pores; “somewhere between redemption and sin, betrayal and love, the fear of punishment and the longing for light,” here they are equal to the sacred power of the jungle’s flora and fauna. Like the elusive “Icaros,” Miguel imagines all of these voices as part of the same song, the song that the shamans say is the secret knowledge of the jungle transmitted through these sounds. Here they are all resurrected in their own Shipibo world hovering between the classical and the exotic. Here the river and its shadow travel the same path- the Amazon and its various tributaries- the shadow, Miguel’s divine rendition of it. Miguel graduated from the Escuela de Artes Carlos Baca Flor in Arequipa and has participated in various group and solo exhibitions throughout Peru and abroad including Finland, Czech Republic, France, USA, and the United Kingdom. More recently in 2019 he participated in “The Invisible Forest” curated by Patsy Craig in London, England, at Bioneers 2019 in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in 2021 at Centro Peruano Britanico, Lima Peru in “III Concurso nacional de Dibujo.” His works are included in various private international collections.