SARA FLORES

Sara Flores employs and recasts the intricate design system known as kené with astonishing exactitude, working freehand to create hypnotic, abstract patterns rendering an overall image with a complex, vibrational power. Balancing between a cultural imperative for novelty and submission to the constraints of traditional style, Sara Flores has distinguished her art through astonishing creative innovations that have gained her world renown.

 

Part of a deeply entwined belief system, kené does not aim to represent but, rather, to fix the fluidity of forms and images that inhabit the disembodied world of the spirit. Kené often references the visual and musical patterns of shamanic ceremonies and is thought of as healing design or a kind of “design medicine” that can restore and create balance. In ways that mobilize the transformative properties of art, certain diseases are thought to be caused by harmful designs or energetic disorder that must be unraveled and re-imprinted with orderly ones.

 

In other words, the visual imagination of the work is not only on the surface of the canvas but performs the possibilities of a wider synaesthetic world of intervention in which multiple forms of energy, sound, bodies, and space affect each other. The paintings – as well as the preparation of the colors and the spiritual aspects that entangle the artistic practice throughout its process – are part of a complex relation to land, water and plants from which both the visions and the tools are made, and are meant to re-establish or transform the cycle of connections.

Untitled (Punté Kené 1, 2019) detail
Untitled (Punté Kené 1, 2019) detail

58” x 59”1/2

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Untitled (Punté Kené 1, 2019)
Untitled (Punté Kené 1, 2019)

58” x 59”1/2

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Untitled (Pei Kené 1, 2020)
Untitled (Pei Kené 1, 2020)

57" 11/16 x 53" 1/8

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Untitled (Punté Kené 1, 2019) detail
Untitled (Punté Kené 1, 2019) detail

58” x 59”1/2

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Sara Flores was born in 1950 in the native community of Tanbo Mayo in the Peruvian Amazon. At fourteen she started her apprenticeship in the arts under the guidance of her mother, and quickly showed her mastery with intricate designs. Shenow often works alongside her daughters, painting in a mother-daughter pair, adding another expansive dimension to the work through which two bodies and two minds merge to finish each other’s patterns. 

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