INDEXMy highlight of 2015 — the list in fullRead more
One of the most thrilling works we handled this year was the deliciously macabre painting by the surrealist artist Remedios Varo. Painted at the height of her career in 1962, and just one year before her untimely death, this exceptional work is a visual tour-de force filled with whimsy and melancholy.
In Vampiros Vegetarianos three mutant, vegetarian vampires appear mesmerised and huddled around a small bistro table, each feverishly feasting from long straws on a succulent meal of blood red fruits and vegetables. Two hybrid creatures, half rooster and half cat — reminiscent of those in the paintings of her friend Leonora Carrington — look on, tethered to their masters and eager to partake in this banquet. A fiery glow emanates from the vampires as they consume their meal and appear to regain a sense of vitality with each sip.
Remedios Varo (Spanish/Mexican 1908-1963), Vampiros vegetarianos, 1962. Oil on canvas. 33 ¾ x 23 ¾ in. (85.7 x 60.3 cm.) Estimate: $1,500,000-2,000,000. Sold for $3,301,000 on 27 May 2015. © Remedios Varo, DACS/ VEGAP, 2015
A member of the European ex-patriot community that converged upon Mexico City at the outbreak of World War II — and that included such luminaries as Carrington, Kati Horna, Wolfang Paalen, and Benjamin Peret, Varo flourished creatively in this new environment.
Perhaps unencumbered by the precepts of the European surrealist movement it was in Mexico, and in works like Vampiros vegetarianos, where Varo crafted her own unique approach, and in the process left an indelible mark on the history of Surrealism and Modernism. Never before offered at auction, the painting was the headline lot in the Latin American Art sale at Christie’s New York in May.
For more features, interviews and videos, visit Christie’s Daily