Carlos Sotomayor - the artist

A draughtsman by profession, an artist by vocation, Carlos Sotomayor is not unlike other painters who, like himself,
were never properly acknowledged in their lifetime. But it is even more regrettable that this should happen in the world today.

Tireless admirer and studious of the world’s greatest classical artists: from Raphael, Rembrandt, Cezanne (to name but a few)
to Picasso and Lam, with whose styles he identified himself, Sotomayor also admired other painters who, like himself,
remained mostly unknown.

Once, when some well-known Latin American painters were mentioned, Sotomayor showed his preference for the Uruguayan
Torres Garcia and the Brazilian Cicero Dias - both artists practically unknown and whose names do not even appear in encyplopedias.

Introverted but not conceited, Sotomayor admired originality and creativity, he valued what gained his respect.
He had no time for mediocrity or undeserved fame. He could be described as ‘a humble proud artist’.
He was aware of his worth and yet we’ll all remember him for his modesty.

Carlos Sotomayor is the typical example of an artist surrounded by an unappreciative, indifferent environment.
In different circumstances, his work would have reached much higher planes.

In the last twenty years of his life, he distanced himself from the art circles due to lack of interest.
“Chile is not a nation of painters”, he used to say. Curiously, he was more recognized and appreciated by poets
and writers rather than by fellow artists.

Sotomayor was extremely self-critical and meticulous, and he continued painting until the end: “I’m painting better each day”
he used to tell me in his letters. Perhaps deep inside he once hoped for some proper recognition of his work although he never said it.
Such was his modesty.

Like a true artist, Carlos Sotomayor did not paint to please others, but to satisfy an innate, spontaneous creative need.
His dedication was total and worthy of a pure artist, a quality that should inspire great respect for a painter whose work
will one day be properly recognized and valued.

Painting was his mission and his reward: the pleasure of his creation. Art for art’s sake was his motto.
Talented, humble and totally devoted to his art: that is how I remember my father.

Alvaro Sotomayor, June 1988

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