Silvia Yapur is an Argentine mixed media artist whose process focuses on intuitively incorporating a variety of materials into her work. A fascination with the Chinese Horoscope, a method of prediction as old as Chinese culture itself, has preceded her practice over the years, leading her to experiment with eclectic ways of portraying the magnificent creatures that are part of this cycle.
In ancient Greek mythology, it was believed that the Moirae sisters were the incarnations of destiny itself. Assigned to ensure that every creature in the world followed their intended natural role, they controlled the metaphorical “thread of life”—known in Spanish as “hilo de la vida”—of all beings from the moment they were born, to the day they died.
El Hilo de la Vida introduces a variety of animal-based portraiture inspired by Yapur’s own fascination with the animal world. Her Ox-Cows and Tiger series present the viewer with texture-rich embroidered works that romantically personify these creatures and their role in nature.
Every Work Has a Voice
A charming nuance of Yapur's technique is her intention to characterize each of her animal portraits. Embedded with a personality, her art allows the viewer to connect with her subjects on a personal level through her mastery of textile manipulation. Especially noticeable as you observe the subject's eye, telling a story of their own and solidifying that not two works are ever the same.
Rooted in Cultural Exchange
Yapur's "Ox-Cows" series was originally conceived as a means to honor the artist's experiences in the country of India. A number of fabrics originating from her travels around this nation were used in the conception of the series, among other materials. Having learned the ancient art of Indian ink printing during this exchange, Yapur often utilizes this technique in the creation of some of her work.
Gentle and physically-capable, oxen and cows have historically been linked to offerings and sacrifices. Believed to bring forth abundance and prosperity, they embody the act of self-sacrifice for the well-being of others. Powerful and feared, the tiger has historically been linked to imbalance of power, due to its superior strength among creatures. Simultaneously, these beings personify opposite extremes of the human experience: those who self-sacrifice for others, and those capable of taking with no need of giving away. All beautiful creatures, born by the same nature, yet born with opposing natures, exemplifying the essence of life itself.
El Hilo de la Vida installation shots. Photo credit: Michael Lopez.
On Human Nature and Animalistic Instinct
In her "Tiger" series, Yapur emphasizes the homology between man and beast. Her tiger portraits are presented morphed with human faces, as in symbolizing a reflection of the beast born from within. The artist, a feline enthusiast, tell us that as beings of this earth, we are not as different as we often like to believe. Reminding us that at the end of the day, we are still creatures with animalistic needs and tendencies.
"Yapur’s work, raw and striking, displays her textile mastery and ability to give life to expressive creations with the sole need of a thread. [the exhibition] speaks of nature itself, as well as Yapur’s own nature as an artist." — Andres J. Mora, curator of El HIlo de La vida
Other Available WorksWorks in Yapur's "Ox-Cow" series are double sided.