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¿Who is afraid of Ale Wendorff?

Patricia Ciriani, French-Peruvian historian of art
Lima, 2019

In a sexist country, a strong woman. In such a conservative society as the Peruvian one, it is necessary to run away from conventions and to face the inner demons and fantasies of herself.
The religious fanaticism combined with the obscenity of mass pornography brings about the temptation to create images referring to an incarnate eroticism of her own. There is also the temptation to live a life free, in the antipodes of social opinions. The constant physical and psychological violence against women has as its corollary the invisibility in the public sphere. This is the stronghold that takes up Ale Wendorff, by stealing large wall surfaces in the streets.

Wendorff’s powerful drawing reflects her rage at the consensual puritanism of the society of Lima, where she grew up and lives, and at which she shouts out her wild eroticism by giving shape to some figures’ dances, monstrous and sensual at the time. Each piece of hers is the recreation of a new universe contained within the limits of the format, that works as a portal between our hidden desires and a dimension to be conquered. Whatever the size of the piece, the line is so free and sinuous that it seems to mean by itself, so dynamic that it becomes abstract, so vigorous that it does not cease to generate powerful images. The figure is always readable despite the apparent chaos, the graphic gestures generate voluptuous paths that refer to the female universe, to nature and life.
Since she uses cheerful, pastel and very fleshy colors, combined with the gaudy tones of Peruvian popular culture, her art never becomes decorative or kitsch. The large planes of intense black and smooth texture provide gravity and weight, nonetheless. Her compositions are very audacious and dynamic, showing the passionate and methodical way in which Wendorff addresses a new pictorial support. By using motifs of architectural design or monumental constructions that resemble archetypal figures, she reminds of the aesthetics of brutal art and surrealism.

The glare of her painting is impregnated with universal philosophical concepts, bordering the symbolism when it gets mixed with pre-Columbian mythological iconography. Her subjects use to open a field outside the heterosexual and patriarchal norms, opposing an oceanic feminine sexuality to the masculine power, in pursuit of new limits for both categories.

These assumed overflows of the feminine over the masculine resemble a psychoanalytic exploration where the interior and the exterior, the intimate/deep, the superficial/universal merge. We have nothing to fear: as Western civilization and its modern paradigm have been devolving, and the couple and love became «liquid» concepts, the art of Ale Wendorff manifests the Hyperwoman, who with liberating force awakens the one who is horrified by the free and fantastic expression, and pleases the esthete in search of balance and harmony.

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