Chaná, Tenejapa, Chiapas, México, 1964.
The nuances of colors encapsulated in each canvas with a certain sense of humor, reflect the passion of Nelo (Manuel Guzmán). His works are based on exploration, reflection, interpretation of his own dreams, illusions, seeking an escape from the exotic and folklore.
The cultural hybridization between his traditions and his Christianity has generated changes that mark the moment of Nelo’s contemporaneity, which is why each work is a critical and communicative reflection of the historical events that it provokes in its community (the migration, health problems, socio-political and environmental issues).
Nelo began his artistic practice in 1986, with his teacher Esteban López, with the project of painting the traditional stories of his people, “Esteban taught me to draw with pencils, landscapes and then the human figure and to use oil paint.” Later he worked with the state government on a project to promote traditional plants in medicine, “he painted and drew how to cure diseases.” He took painting courses at the State Center for Indigenous Languages, Art and Literature (CELALI) and with Antún Kojtom.
Guzmán is definitely mostly self-taught. In 1992 Manuel suffered an accident in Mexico City, being hospitalized for 9 months. After this long recovery process, Nelo returned to art, showing the reflection and character of life, the survival of his people, the fluidity of a man in readapting his artistic practice.
- Outsider Art Fair, XVII edición, virtual, Paris France. 2021
- Mayan and Zoque interpretations of the (In)visible pandemic, virtual exhibition, Galería MUY, 2020.
- Spoxil Ch’ulelal (Medicine of the soul), multidisciplinary exhibition, Centro Médico Siglo XXI, Mexico City, 2019.
- Fate and luck, exhibition with Raymundo López, Galería MUY, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, 2017.
- Jna’tik Jnatik (We miss our home), group exhibition, Corpus Christi, Mexico City, 2017.
- Pictorial exhibition, Casa de la Cultura, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, 1986.
- Mayan Painters, exposición internacional, Centro Estatal de Lenguas Arte y Literatura Indígena (CELALI), 1996.