MUJERES DEL TANGO

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Women of Tango-0

“TANGO Y SOMBRAS” MURAL-acrílico y collage sobre tela

El tango es música de la ciudad de Buenos Aires y nació a fines del siglo 18. Los millones de inmigantes que llegaron a Argentina crearon la necesaria atmósfera para el nacimiento del tango. La mayoría de los inmigrantes, quienes estaban sumidos en la pobreza, se asentaron en la ciudad de Buenos Aires. Sin embargo, la ciudad no estaba preparada para recibir tanta cantidad de gente y muchos inescrupulosos se abusaron de esta situación construyendo viviendas precarias o remodelando casas antiguas de la época colonial. Estas viviendas tenían muchas habitaciones que se alquilaban separadamente. Durante largos años aquellos primeros inmigrantes al igual que la gente pobre de la ciudad vivieron en estos conventillos.

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MALENA
.”MALENA” Serie: Mujeres de Tango – acrílico y collage sobre lienzo

Las precarias condiciones en que vivían estos inmigrantes produjo un aumento de problemas, entre ellos alcoholismo y prostitución. También hubo resentimiento entre la gente nativa y los extranjeros que deseaban encontrar un lugar en la sociedad. La clase obrera se hundió en la tristeza y la soledad. Estos fueron precisamente los sentimientos que dieron a músicos y poetas la inspiración para crear el tango.
En sus comienzos el tango fue una melodía; luego de algunos años los poetas comenzaron a escribir su letra. Estos primeros temas nos cuentan la vida del bajo fondo, describiendo los personajes que vivían en los conventillos. Las letras se refieren al “guapo” que era respetado en el barrio por su corage y lealtad; el “compadrito”, personaje cobarde que acostumbraba provocar peleas simplemente para envanecerse delante de la gente; el “cafischio” a quien no le gustaba trabajar pero
como le agradaba usar buenas ropas, perfumes y joyas, explotaba mujeres haciéndolas trabajar como prostitutas.


En las letras de tango se encuentran con frecuencia las historias de jóvenes mujeres que nacieron en conventillos y vivieron en la pobreza.
Cuando eran atraídas por los “cafischios” con promesas falsas de una vida mejor, estas mujeres comenzaban trabajando en los cabarés soportando una vida de abuso y prostitución de la cual ya les resultaba imposible salir. A través de los temas de tango podemos apreciar la manera en que eran discriminadas por una sociedad machista. A veces la inspiración de esos tangos eran personajes reales que fallecieron muy jóvenes después de sufrir enfermedades relacionadas con su profesión de prostitutas y cuyos nombres sólo pueden hallarse en archivos de hospitales.

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Ivette2

“IVETTE” Serie: Mujeres de Tango – acrílico y collage sobre lienzo

.María

“MARIA” Serie: Mujeres de Tango – acrílico y collage sobre lienzo

Copyright 2009 Raquel Partnoy
All right reserved

TANGO INNER LANDSCAPES

TANGO INNER LANDSCAPES
After choosing the tango lyrics where mostly urban scenes were depicted I began doing sketches for the series about the landscapes of the tango. Very soon I realized that what I wanted to paint was not only the landscapes of the city but also the inner landscapes found in tango lyrics. Those landscapes were the mirrors of Buenos Aires life, and they allowed me to see its characters in their diverse shades.

“Ghostly Dance” oil on canvas SOLD

The Last Guapo, the Last Hand Organ, The Last Tango Room, The Last Street Lamp are some of the tango lyrics that talk about lost things. Like yellowish pictures from a time gone, they show a faded image of things poets would like to keep forever. The three paintings of Gosthly Dance are landscapes from the last tango room: couples of mannequins, naked bodies, empty clothes dancing tango for the last time. (“El último bailongo“– The Last Tango Room– written by Horacio Ferrer was my inspiration to paint these inner landscapes)

"Moon & Mistery"
“Moon & Mistery” oil on canvas

The neighborhood theme can be found in many lyrics; some tango titles with the same theme are:“Barrio pobre–Poor Neighborhood, “Barrio reo”–Underground Neighborhood, and “Barrio de tango,” Tango’s Neighborhood. Porteňos, as people born in Buenos Aires are called, idealize the past; they cry when they come back to the barrio after a long time and realize that everything has changed. They cannot believe there is nothing left and wonder where are the beautiful things they remember: the street lamps, the patio where they used to dance tango, their sweethearts and friends. When I was painting “Moon and Mystery” I tried to capture the atmosphere of “Barrio de tango,” written in 1942 by Homero Manzi.


"Feelings"
“FEELINGS”

We also find another theme in tango lyrics: the bandoneon. When the flute was replaced by the bandoneon, tango music became more profound, more temperamental. Its whining sound mirrors the sorrow of the lyrics, and there is a secret communication between the poet, who oftentimes is also a musician, and the bandoneon. This instrument is the poet’s best friend, and he tells it all his troubles. By painting “Feelings” I tried to portray the communion person-instrument and how they become one entity. ( In 1950 Homero Manzi wrote “Che, bandoneon”– Hey, Bandoneon.)

"Desolation"
“DESOLATION”

My painting “ Desolation “ tells about a man’s loneliness after being abandoned by his woman. This character can be found in many tango lyrics that refer to a “compadrito” whose woman used to work for him as a prostitute. He cries not only because he feels alone and old, but also because he is not going to get any money from her and won’t be able to buy the luxurious things he is used to having. ( I found inspiration to portray this story in “Mi noche triste” –
My Night of Sorrows– by Pascual Contursi, 1917.)

"Nostalgia"
‘Nostalgia” oil on canvas

In “Nostalgia” I portrayed La Boca’s port with its dock, its bridge, and its old cargo boats that will remain forever anchored, leaving their nocturnal long shadows and the figures of nostalgic Italian immigrants engraved in the landscape. We can sense, through many lyrics, that the immigrants who came to Argentina looking for a better future for their families were frustrated due to the poor living conditions they had to endure. Sometimes they dreamed of going back to die in their countries. ( Enrique Cadícamo wrote in 1937 “Niebla del Riachuelo” — Fog in the riachuelo river. Enrique Lary’s “Canzoneta”another italian popular song about the same subject — was written in 1953.

"Empty Suits"
“Empty Suits” oil on canvas


The large number of European immigrants who began to arrive in Argentina a century ago brought with them their cultural heritage: language, music, feelings. Those things were part of their legacy to that country, but at the same time they assimilated to Argentinean culture. This exchange between cultures gave the country another physiognomy: many foreign words were incorporated to its slang, there was access to music from other countries, and different stories could be heard in its streets.
This new human landscape was apprehended by the children of the immigrants. Their parents did not have the time or the skills to write their stories, stories about nostalgia, assimilation, memories

Copyright 2009 Raquel Partnoy
All right reserved