Presentation

FRANCINE SECRETAN is a native of Switzerland, a country bordered and surrounded by colossal snow-capped mountains, where nature’s abundance has been slowly dominated and organized by man’s methodical and zealous effort. There Francine became a sculptress. There she met and fell in love with a sculptor who spoke to her of other mountains and other lands. He was Ted Carrasco, a well-known and respected artist.

From the Alpes to the Andes came the sculptress Francine, seduced by love and by the stories of other mountains, by the myths of "pachamamas" and stone men. Knowing the enchantment of her alpine mountains she understood the Andes. In Bolivia, she found these other mountains, perhaps as magnificent as her own, but less untamed and full of inner life, an integral part of tough, wild yet rich landscape. Here, nature is more primitive, more generous and stronger than the human being who worships real myths such as the Aymara gods "apus" and "achachilas", the blue jaguars (creators of the universe) and the alligators (creators of vegetation and water). Here, Francine met other human beings who were stoical and long suffering yet generous and loyal.

In this world, as opposed to her homeland, nature has dominated man and captivated her and made her its own as she did with it. Its magic enchanted her, and the Andes telluric strength, the myths and beliefs of primitive men saturated her spirit. She understood the symbiosis between man and nature from pre-historic cultures and the baroque half-breed. Perhaps because of her vision, full of curiosity, and eager searching, she was able to penetrate deeper than any of us can see.

Her art, interpretative of the Andean reality and mythology, created in stone, bronze, feathers, native textiles and specially wood or a combination of them all, is now an expression of present-day Bolivian art. Her determination and constant searching have made her, for some time now, an accountable presence in obvious crescendo.

Francine’s formal expression is totemic just as totems are synthetic symbols yet unifying to certain communities’ beliefs. Her art is esthetically quarrelsome and hard, significantly primitive, vital and powerful; also, maybe an expression of nature unconsciously destroyed by mindless men who ruin their environment instead of living in balanced harmony with it.

Francine is now part of a group of women artists who, perhaps as such, have marvelously perceived and expressed the symbolism and nature of this Andean world.

PEDRO QUEREJAZU