Margarita Checa receives us in her flat in Barranco, filled at the moment with the fourteen wood and bronze sculptures that form the show at Lucia de la Puente gallery, “The Doors of Perception.” Its images—mostly children and adolescents with distraught faces—are lent great expressivity by their immobility, and paradoxically, by the near-absence of their faces.


The artist is capable of extracting extraordinary results from wood and metal. The sculptures move the viewer not only by their beauty, but also by the animated states they transmit. “More than melancholy, it is an introspection, a look inside,” explains the sculptor when asked about this aspect of her work.


The disciple of Christina Galvez and Anna Maccagno took two years to complete the works. Some of the pieces in the show have exhibited previously in a solo show at The Lowe Galleries in Santa Monica and Atlanta, and at the Museum of Latin American Art in California. “I have remained true to my manner of understanding the world though the figures of humans and animals,” says Checa when asked why she has not followed the current of abstraction and opted for the figurative. “I believe there is a surreal element to my work but there is overall a magical realism, that is completely Latin American,” she adds.


When creating, the artist retreats into her workshop on Villa El Salvador, where she oversees all aspects of her production. “I work mainly in olive and mahogany. I obtained about 80 tons of olive and some bits of mahogany; I cut them with the chainsaw until they were much finer. I also do the embellishment in bull’s horn and silver.”


“I have a longing for myth,” says the sculptor about the theme of her work, “for that something that is like a remnant in each person’s unconscious memory.”