Uruguay Period (1989 - 1998)

Mauricio Saravia started to paint in 1989, at 19 years old. He had never attended an art class but he had been drawing portraits since he was 12.
We could not buy a canvas because they are very expensive in Uruguay and we went together to a carpenter shop and asked for some wood cuts left-overs. He first tried oil but Uruguay is a very wet country and it took too long to dry. He didn't like that and he almost gave up painting. I suggested to go to the art store to consult about. They suggested to try acrylics. As soon as he tried them he realized that they were his thing.

Also due to our low budget, he couldn't buy many acrylic bottles so he bought the primary colors and he combined them in such a way that he could obtain very interesting tones. Since his first exhibition, he got a very good feedback from the press and photos of his paintings with very good reviews appeared in all the local papers. As he was a self-made artist, he never copied the style of any other painter, actual or old. That made it very difficult for the art journalists, to label or categorized his work. Many said that it was a very original and particular "surrealism."

More than twenty of Mauricio's paintings made in Uruguay are not shown in this page. More than a dozen were given as a gift, sold or exchanged for services or for the use of a wall in a gallery, in the 90s., and there are no photos of them. Many others disappeared during the period I went to live with him in the US. I would appreciate it very much, if somebody can provide me any information about one of his paintings that are not in the photographs on this page.

Marisa Damele
Exhibitions in Uruguay
  • 1990 - Taller Zina Fernandez
  • 1993 - Anglo Cultural Institute of the Brittish Embassy
  • 1996 - "Mistica" at Punta del Este House of Culture
  • 1996 - "Mistica II" - Atlantida House of Culture

Reporter and writer Ignacio Suarez was very fond of Mauricio's art work and he invited to his TV show in Public Television: "Un dia en la Vida..." "A day in the Life...." in September 1991. He was 21 years old and he was an hour on camera talking about art, literature, the beginning of electronic music and explaining very naturally his medical syndrome and his eight major surgeries. The last one had been five months before and he still was in a cast from under his arm-pits to his hips. That day, the TV program had so many hits that they had to show it again two times more