Saturday, April 26, 2014

Amaringo, Pablo

Ondas de la Ayahuasca (Waves of Ayahuasca)
57 x 76cm
Gouache on Arches paper
location unknown
-Fair use-

Amaringo uses visionary abstraction in his own unique way. Ayahuasca is sublime, divine, special that teaches respect for life and others. it connects human with innerself, with the higher self and soul. Arkanas are represented as circles of rainbow color surrounding the participants in the Ayahuasca ceremony. An arkana is “a field of spiritual protection against sorcery”.  Laws of physics that determine the movement of the planets and stars are represented as ornately clothed winged beings. The mother of the forest, called Sachamama, is depicted as a large serpent.  Out of her mouth flow bands of color which represent waves of ayahuasca visions.

Pablo Cesar Amaringo (1938-2009) was an acclaimed Peruvian artist, renowned for his intricate, colorful depictions of his visions from drinking the entheogenic plant brew ayahuasca. He worked as a shaman in the mestizo tradition of healing; up to his death, he painted, helped run the Usko-Ayar school of painting, and supervised ayahuasca retreats.

He was born in Puerto Libertad, Peru, a small settlement on the banks of a tributary of the Ucayali River. When he was a boy, his family were reduced to extreme poverty after some years of relative prosperity. As a result, he attended school for just two years before he was forced to find work to help support the family. At the age of 17, he became extremely ill, nearly dying from severe heart problems. For over two years he could not work and he believed he was eventually cured due to a local healer. It was while recovering from this illness that he started to draw and paint.

Soon he began to make money from portraits and, with the discovery of his new artistic talent, his career as a healer also received exposure. For seven years, 1970-76, he traveled extensively in the region acting as a traditional healer. When he was surviving by selling the odd painting to passing tourists, in 1985, one of the tourist who was traveling during work on an ethnobotanical project, suggested he paint some of his visions, a project which became the basis of a co-authored book, Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman. He occasionally gave interviews in the years following the book's publication, and later penned the preface for Plant Spirit Shamanism: Traditional Techniques for Healing the Soul. He also appeared in The Shaman & Ayahuasca: Journeys to Sacred Realms, Michael Wiese's documentary film about ayahuasca.
After a protracted illness, he died in 2009.