top of page

Clara Yáñez's technical training as an artist is so deeply rooted in her own methods of working that most of the time she prefers to ignore any style or historical or academic formula for making art. Firm in her conviction that she is not an artist, and despite her belief that what she does has little or nothing to do with what anyone would call art, Yáñez perseveres in her daily evocation of crafting deeply expressive figures from another world, who have the flaws and vulnerabilities of ordinary mortals.


An example of the uniqueness of her technical prowess is the ease with which Yañez’s work blends into the humble 19th-century wooden Chilote chapel, projecting within it a vision of a forgotten past as well as a space for today’s spiritual and religious beliefs. Chief among those beliefs is that most religions function as a way of control and punishment, whereas the presence and effects of mythology and mystery become a stimulus for her imagination and creative output.


Another reason Clara Yáñez prefers that we not talk about her work as art, or about her as an artist, is that throughout her life she’s been surrounded by highly artistic family members, to the point where expressing herself by producing something of high aesthetic value seemed impossible. That is perhaps why her results are not something which you can easily label in terms of style or historical precedent. Rather, they are simply "stuff" that one does. Taking that thought a step further, her process of carving and coloring a figure has more to do with the local tradition of working with wood than with creating an oil painting or a  video installation. For this reason alone, shedding the aura of preciousness that tends to attach to anything classified as "art" is a good first step in accepting that anything expressive made by human hands is transparent and legible to all of us.

Text by Dan Cameron and Ramón Castillo

bottom of page