Elizabeth Cueto, an Argentinian visual artist, considers art as a possibility of social transformation. Her pieces transmit a specific message based on the honesty as the foundations of her creation.
Elizabeth Cueto was born on Buenos Aries, where she studied Fine Arts at the Escuela Prilidiano Pueyrredón School. During her training years, she took classes on different painting workshops and was always interested on drawing as a way of expressing her experience and emotions.
Her biggest master was the Argentinian painter, engraver, and muralist Néstor Berlles, who painted with Antonio Berni and marked Cueto’s path not only in relation to art but also on her personal life. By his hand, she painted the first pieces and made the first engravings. Additionally, Cueto made a workshop of experimental graphic on the city of Havana, where she worked on lithography Carlos del Toro; this experience revealed the weaknesses and strengths that her draws had, meeting with elements that only that technique allowed her to reach.
Her daily job is located in the department of Visual Arts of the colegio Pucalán Montessori School, where together with three other visual artists, she seeks to create an educative résumé that answers to the current context, that gives to the students a significant learning experience and that ratify the art as a language equally important as Mathematics, Language or Science.
Art for her is the philosophy of life, a way of thinking and doing that transcends the moment of creating in itself. According to Cueto, the thought in relation to a work (hers of others) can emerge on the most quotidian moments in life: while driving, wash the dishes, associations among images, colors, contexts, etc. may appear, allowing a more deep understanding of what you do and see. That is art, what is inside of each personal in an almost natural way.
Elizabeth is really selective when it comes to choosing the projects in which she is going to participate with her creations. She feels inspired by the image of painters from another time in which artists spent hours, maybe entire days inside they studios working and experimenting. “They were alchemists that joined the mystery of creating with the science of producing materials that would answer to their spiritual and pictorial needs”, explains the artist.
Drawing is the base of her creations; characters emerge from observing her own environment and many times, from exacerbating certain aspects of the human condition. She is attracted to the universal subjects such as death, love, pain, among others, to visually represent them and generate a reflection at a social level. On the productive process, after creating a sketch, she transfers those images to the engraving or painting. In her pieces, she seeks to balance the masculine with the feminine. An example of this can be observed on her engraving. From the textile incorporation, she provides the feminine, through an action (sew, knit, embroider) that her grandmother’s generation knew how to do with closed eyes and passed on from generation to generation of women of each family. This action ties all the symbolic circuit that appears on each piece.
Even though Elizabeth does not think about the audience when producing and does not work for them, the contact produced between the pieces and the observers is based on the complicity; a wink that goes beyond the cultural differences, and establishes itself without the need on a context. She wants to create pieces that are able to talk by themselves and present to the world with a clear and concrete message. In this sense, her goal is to create an honest work, that does not speak or generate more than what she represents.
Cueto’s list of materials is very diverse: acrylics, inks, oil pastels, paper, photocopies, magazine clipping, varnish, etc. she also incorporates found objects, that she reuses for new purposes. All the materials seem to be suitable to create her pieces but the selection of one or the other depends on the necessity of the moment, in relation to time and to what she wants to represent.
Elizabeth’s work is in constant transformation. Each consciousness produces changes and moves the creation into different senses. The import for her is not to stay still, not to stay comfortable and produce the same: the familiar. “Each link brings you to the next; the important for me is not to stay still”