Mendel Samayoa, Architect and Filmmaker sees himself as having been a visual artist since birth. Very early on teachers and family members noticed his skill with plastic, and this continued all the way through school.
His career has left a path of successful and diverse contributions in different fields; from graphic design, comic-drawing and storyboard art, to professional photography, sculpture, set, industrial, and interior design, art direction, live event production and architectural design. He’s known as a producer for having undertaken some of the greater productions held in his native country Guatemala such as well-known feature films and theater productions.
Mendel Samayoa showed his art pieces for the first time in an individual exhibit in the 80s while still an Architecture student. This collection was then shown at the Sudent Center for his Alma Matter, which resulted in a permanent exhibit at one of Guatemala’s tourist landmarks. Right after this he moved to Chile and started a new phase exploring expressionism, having several exhibits and teaching in Santiago. There he used acrylic and started using oil, which is now his most common expression.
Once back in his home country, Guatemala, he settled in one of the Cultural Capitals of the world: Antigua. There he taught and mentored students in art expression. Slowly but surely he started to get noticed again and his work was exhibited in several art spots of the city.
Samayoa´s career is marked by a special invitation to the Havana Biennale to screen his short films. He also exhibited a well-known series of four large pieces in Paris, two or three solo exhibits in Guatemala and many more collective shows in the art gallery he funded together with four other architect-painters. His exploration has taken him to use thick oils on canvas, showing figurative expressionism as a means to build his own language. A few years ago he started developing his very own anthropomorphic style with strong gestures and strong characters portrayed with carbon crayons and ink over impressive textures of layered oil colors, on different materials.
Recently, he participated in THE OTHER ART FAIR, London, October 2015 and then April 2016. His pieces were top sellers of the collective Latinaria 2015 to the London public and he was invited again in April 2016 where he performed a live painting show. Just a week after he presented a solo exhibit and performed again in London, he signed with Gabriel Fine Arts, for three further exhibits for the upcoming year.
Mendel is currently considered one of the most prolific artists from Guatemala in all his different ways of expression. “Just can´t stop" he says, while keeping a steady production of fresh aesthetics, he is also spreading his ideas and becoming a well-known artist in Guatemala. He has also been invited for a solo exhibit at the National Palace of Culture in July.
“The human being tells a new and deep story with each gesture, with each position and its relation to the environment.”
“My research focused on human gestures for years, while wearing my other “hat” as a film director, submerged me in deep observation of the human being as an individual and as a social being, an artistic anthropology that served me to analyse bit by bit each milimetric expression of people and groups of people.”
“Never looking at race, religion, preferences or ideas, human beings have a deep gesture, natural and universal.”
“All this long time observation together with my permanent study –since childhood- of the pencil and it´s undertaking of the human figure, dragged me for more than half a century now in an unstoppable vorágine of stories in canvas. I tell open-ended stories for the public to complete, project and even guess in each piece I sign.”