Magaly Jacqueline Arocha was born in Caracas in 1968. She lived in the chaos of Gran Caracas. She changed her home and neighbourhood several times, and each time was a new experience that almost immediately made her realise that travel and changing would be an integral part of her life.
She attended scientific high school, then university: international studies. After graduating, the diplomatic career, the first destination: the Holy See.
Rome is very close to Florence, but in a country where over 50% of the world’s artistic heritage is to be found and which has given birth to Giotto, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Manzoni, Modigliani and De Chirico, to name only some of them, in every town, even the most apparently insignificant, one can find an absolute masterpiece.
In Rome, she attended the studio of the artist Ninni Verga, where she was able to refine her techniques.
The work of a diplomat is fascinating but tough. After Rome, back to Caracas. After three years, the good news arrives: moving to Naples.
In a certain way Naples resembles Caracas, chaotic, colourful, with its indefinable personality that many simplistically define as ‘Neapolitanism’, an unfair cliché for Neapolitans.
Naples is art in itself, every narrow street, palace and church conceals masterpieces of inestimable value. A stratified city: Greek on the basement level, Roman on the ground floor and Bourbon on the first floor. After the Unification of Italy… not found.
Magaly devoted herself to work. Art remained somewhat in the background, enriched by Neapolitan culture, but not manifested, it remained latent and would only be rediscovered later…
On the 30th of June 2011 it was time to move to Caracas again, but she decided to stay in Italy and to dedicate herself to her daughters and family.
She returned to her drawing studies in Bologna, where she found her new identity as a figurative painter.
Painting is her salvation, a form of meditation, to find peace with herself…
I was born in 1968 in Caracas, Venezuela. A career diplomat, I have always nourished the passion for painting that I studied privately in Rome and Bologna.
My paintings reflect my origins with blinding colors and traits of suffering, but also my knowledge of the opulent world encountered in my professional career. I want to transmit energy and vitality. I like to change and experiment with new techniques and subjects.
With my works I want to remember the poignant beauty of my native land, the smile of the children over there, the power of nature and make them known to sensitive people like you.
Lately I have been passionate about the study of the figure, in particular dancers, extraordinary athletes who know how to balance strength, grace and coordination. Thus some of the works that I present to you were born.
Discipline, effort, together with talent make dancers sculptures par excellence: toned, muscular bodies, but at the same time flexible and harmonious, in short irresistible!
For me, art is the ability to get excited and excited, to tell a path of life that unites millions of people, to ask the viewer to go beyond the “I like, I don’t like” and tell the emotions he feels by looking at the work, simple, natural and therefore spontaneous.
Painting is my liberation, an essential element of my new identity, a form of meditation, to find peace with myself …
My works have been exhibited in Bologna, Naples (Castel dell’Ovo), Milan, Liverpool and Arezzo.
I currently live in Bologna with my family.
Magaly Arocha Rivas, born in Caracas, Venezuela, loved painting and drawing since she was a child, having fun while experimenting on the walls of her house.
After graduating in Political Science with a focus on International Relations, she began her diplomatic career, which led her to work in Rome at the Holy See in 1991. In Rome she decided to attend a drawing and painting course at Ninni Verga’s atelier, an experience that allowed her to express and focus her talent.
With the subsequent move to Bologna, she continued to study and paint, illustrating her roots and her bond with her land. This is how she found her identity as an artist, which is now expressed in a strong and passionate figurative language.
Among the numerous exhibitions, in 2019 she attended the “Michelangelo Buonarroti International Prize” in Seravezza, Lucca, where the work “Niña Yanomami Venezuela” was awarded with an honourable mention by the Painting Section, and in 2020 the “Italian Art Festival Selvino Prize”, where she was awarded for the painting “Picardia”. Other prizes include her victory in the figurative artist category at the “Premio De Marchi” in Bologna in 2019, and the first prize at the “Mostra Clausura nell’Arte” at the Spazio Arte Tolomeo in Milan.
Magaly Arocha Rivas’ favourite technique is oil on canvas, and sometimes acrylic. The painting is processed first with brushes and then with a spatula, giving space to the intuitive gesture and the strength of the material. Recently she also employs plaster bases and different and experimental tools for colour application.
The subjects are inspired by female figures and nature, together with memories of Magaly’s homeland; she loves to represent images and portraits of dancers, symbols of strength, discipline and energy.
Her expressionist technique highlights their physical power, outlining strong volumes sculpted by chiaroscuro and decisive colours, combined with the elegance and the expressiveness of the bodies.
The figures firmly emerge from undefined but rich in material accents backgrounds, which give strength to the composition and make the female figures stand out, or from metropolitan backgrounds, which contrast with the energy expressed by dance. There are many new shots, where the sensuality of the figures, depicted faceless and from the back, comes out: the body is the one that speaks.
Sometimes these paintings are real portraits, like the intense and expressive ones dedicated to Olivia Cowley and Natalia Osipova, dancers of the Royal Ballet. The artist describes the body’s vigour, together with its intensity and extreme expressiveness, as far as the depth of the glances. It is not the perfection that matters, but the representation of tensions and details, like the hands marked by the strain of both tendons and veins. This is what the artist defines as “the perfect imperfection of the human body”.
It is also remarkable how in some of these paintings the dancers are depicted in a narrow space, without a real background; in the 2020 paintings the figure appears as if confined, enclosed in a box, to remind us of the theatre closing and the impossibility of representing this art publicly. But the dancer has an ironic and full of strength look, and she announces that she will start dancing again in a moment, giving voice to wonderful performances.
Other portraits are devoted to the artist’s origins, in which evocative tones stand out together with elements that recall suffered realities, as in the work “Senza patria” dedicated to a child.
Magaly Arocha Rivas is always in search of a continuous artistic experimentation; her latest works, which combine chalk and colour, create a different pictorial space, where the human figure is represented in a new dimension, a fascinating contrast between the materiality of the background and the poetic lightness of the figures that come through it.
Magaly’s works are always pervaded by his original and intense poetics, between silence and energy, that the artist dedicates to the strength of life.