Residencia Milan 1 is a painting of a house surrounded by lush forest. The image depicted is both photorealistic and creates the illusion of an unfolded piece of paper, with creases and discolorations. In referring to the circulation of images, the painting raises questions of a viewer’s relationship to the image of a beautiful house: as icon, wish, or standard of beauty.
Many of Araujo’s works depict reproductions and Libro Ponti II is a recreation of a book on Italian architect Gio Ponti. Ponti designed the Villa Planchart a private, modernist house in Caracas, Venezuela, which at the time it was built in 1956, reflected the emergence of a class increasingly globalized, both culturally and economically. Araujo’s replica of the book thus refers to the role and visibility of Venezuela in circuits of global cultural production.
Juan Araujo’s works often begin with photographs he takes of a physical site. By reproducing fragments from urban images, facades and different architectures, he makes visible a tension between the desire to represent and the visual stereotypes. Araujo’s most recent paintings examine Venezuelan and Brazilian modernist architecture and the latter’s complex relationship to certain ideologies and belief systems that deeply marked Latin America’s cultural development in the mid-twentieth century.