Vitullo por Vitullo

Adolescent, used to visit the works in construction where the guilds of architects, carpenters and blacksmiths, that had arrived in Argentina, used to construct buildings and neighbourhoods of mansions in the French style.
I used to inquire, probing some of them on the topic of art, about the life that took place in the "ateliers" of Paris, asked them what they thought of sculptors like Rude, Carpeaux, Rodin. All these topics that were in me in an embryonic state, went and affirmed day by day, my desire to sculpt, to carve the hard matter that most resists man's effort... all that obsessed me. I enrolled in the School of Fine Arts at Alsina Street.
I constantly frequented the Retiro Museum and its library. I visited those annual halls at Arenales Street.
I usually left it overwhelmed by starvation. I wanted to carve, I wanted to sculpt the matter but could not find the place nor a suitable atmosphere to fulfil myself.
I abandoned the School of Fine Arts. Total rupture with my parents. Life in solitude, incompreheded situation; living the night, escaping from the day, in a hostile world for art and any dreaming. I visited all the chapels of that time; writers, poets, dramatic authors; they began to consider me a sculptor, although still without works.
During months, the passion for our Earth took us to the outskirts of the city, among cattle drivers, the "gauchos" (1) with their carts, oxen and goads, drinking "mate" (2) and barbecuing between two dances, "gatos", "malambos", "estilos", "lamentos" and "milongas" (3).
I frequented the coffee-shops on Corrientes Street where you heatedly discussed politics, philosophy, drama, arts; the professionals had set up their homes which implied an orderly life, others made journalism, which fulfilled their life; but the youths as me, nothing: the "belle étoile."
Buenos Aires received the monument to President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento,the one Thinker: Auguste Rodin's figure rose before us as the most authentic revelation of the century.
I have seen people awed into silence by admiration, by respect and perplexity. It was then when I anointed myself with the sign of the cross, and since that day I consecrated my life to sculpture.
Years later, the monument to General Alvear, by Bourdelle arrived in Buenos Aires. This sculptor largely puzzled all those men who had reserved a place in their hearts for Rodin until the end of their days. But soon after that I verified our loss hides in every love that ends up in routine.
Once in Paris I felt, without being able to express it at the beginning, that a new start had taken place in me, an attitude, asking to be located first only then to conti-nue. That was my true guide to penetrate the French nature, which I had been informed about in my country over the years of my adolescence.
During long years I intensely visited the Rodin Museum until exhausting the one knowledge that could disturb me in that man-sculptor's life.
I listened to the warm and substantial word of Bourdelle who appeared before me as the best-informed man of our time and as the most qualified to conceive the real foundation of the sculpture as higher art.
During years, the thought of these two men melted in me so much that one as much as the other has opened new directions to the sculpture, to continue in the scientific and insensitive times that it is us to live, the laws that those two men bequeathed us.
I believe that it is always necessary to adjust oneself to a measure, to a scale, to cause the necessary impulsion for jumping into the sphere of the spatial and hypothetical time. I even ended up understanding the need of a lie when necessary to make us find a solidly built up plastic truth.
During long years I have mingled with the people of France, preferably with "the old France", what every Argentinean is mainly interested in.
For several reasons, I have found myself in touch with French mates who collaborated with those two teachers when working for them exchanging points of view, following a tradition whose nature is the same one. In those sculptural works, I have also met other men belonging to other ways of representation, maybe more old-fashioned but honest with the sources they came from. I have rubbed shoulders with them, work united us. I have learned many things with those men, imbued with an all-proof honesty and with a freshness bordering sanctity. They were unquestionable teachers for me that was coming from a new country where men of that quality, naturally natural, could only be found among the "gauchos" of our "pampas" whose lives loll of a thread when facing those elements necessary to conquer in order to survive.
All these friend-of-mine sculptors spoke to me in their language, in the one of the teachers that in their youth they had listened to, working with them in all those humble quarry tasks, as well as the laws that govern the Romanic style of the early times.
What I find formidable in these men is that the opinions they formulated through their sensibility never narrowed, not even when facing the absurd; by analogy, they always ended up granting vitality to a shape.
Some years have passed, and it has always been through the French nature that I went on finding my own country's one. I reconstructed it day by day. Even the one of those regions whose nature I could never meet directly: the light, the wind and The Andes mountain range. This has become dazzling for me today.
All my sculpture is conceived to face those three essential elements of my country.
Movement, the very essence of all sculpture, is trapped in the contention of the plain.
It is as well as I have thought "El Condor" and I have consecrated it as the Bird king of Argentina. I searched the countryside for "El Bagual" (untamed horse), I found it in that frantic drive of the colt that risks itself for the sake of its new nature's vital essence.
"Esfinge Pampeana." (Sphinx of the Pampas). The immense horizontal where the landscape does not find an horizontal to live.
"El Plata" (The Plate). Our river escaping in the horizontal to find the ocean.
"Nahuel-Huapi". Everything in vertical, in that lacustrine region where the landscape of mineral vegetation rotates in the ellipse.
"Patagonia". Shrunk about its force to contain the wind and the cold in ancestral forms.
"Malambo" The violence of the images that represent this dance of the "gauchos".
"Gaucho en el cepo" (Gaucho in the pillory). Extension of movement in the stability of man's compulsion.
"Piedra Tumbal para el gran Don José Hernandez." (Tomb stone for the Great Don José Hernandez) To the poet, to the bard of those free men, resting among their "cacharpas" (4) between pampas and sky.
"Monumento al poeta Martín Fierro" (Monument to the poet Martín Fierro) Our cathedral of Argentinean spirit. I have set on a plane in form of horseshoe five shafts in column, following the shape of the attire of the gauchos supporting the ethnic images of an austere "pampas" in the subjection, and calm in its greatness.
"Corazón de Gaucho" (Gaucho's heart). The man and his attentive hearing in the dark primordial confusion.
"Monumento al Libertador, General Don José de San Martín" (Monument to the Liberator, General Don José de San Martin). The transferred shape is the plastic sign of this group. The condor man that takes the weight of that insatiable spirit of liberation.
"Totem-Cautividad" (Totem-captivity). The spirit of the shaft points toward the sky. The scream of the strangulation of the shapes where beasts and men lose their universe.
"Antonin Artaud." Penetrated by the real juice of the earth, he carries out his fate of man walled in the stars.
"Totem-Liberación" (Totem-liberation). Interposed passages in real and mechanical shapes in the fall and in the blood.
"A Eva Perón, Primera Dama de la Argentina" (To Eva Perón, Argentina's First Lady). Eva Perón, Argentina, the "justicialismo" (5), Archetype Symbol.

(1) gauchos: a native cattle driver of the South American pampas. (2) mate: a tealike South American beverage. (3) Series of typical Argentine dances (4) Cacharpas: valueless tools or furniture. (5) Justicialismo: one of the two main political parties of Argentina, nowadays in power.