Venezuelan journalist María Josefa Pérez interviews Miguel von Dangel (b. 1946), the Venezuelan artist of German origin, highlighting his defense of his own aesthetics, which were removed from the arts discourse then in vogue in Venezuela. In this sense, von Dangel expresses his resentment for the national critics, whom he accuses of not knowing his work and of rehashing the same critiques for the last ten years, without perceiving its evolution or any changes within it. Von Dangel’s attitude toward these critiques was not entirely gratuitous; the chief studies of his work—apart from the obligatory and brief introductions in the catalogues for his exhibitions—were written after the 1980s. The absence of criticism of his work could only be ameliorated through the information that the artist himself offered in interviews (that were many throughout the years) such as this one.
One must not overlook that the journalist presents von Dangel as an odd character, despite the important statements he makes about his aesthetic, including his attitude—which is consciously romantic—that in his judgment all artists, or at least those artists of the 1960s, should possess. This journalistic attitude is evident in the title of the article and the annotations that occur throughout the interview; among them that the artist makes comments “outside of the norm” or offers “extraordinary definitions.” Von Dangel was aware that some journalists and critics focused on his peculiarities more than the fundamental characteristics of his work; and he affirms that he does not wish “to continue feeding the myth of the psychopathic artist” through this interview. This is perhaps why he identifies with artists such as Armando Reverón, a painter who endured the prejudiced attitude of certain members of the press for years.
[For other critical texts on his work, see the ICAA digital archive: the essays by María Luz Cárdenas, “La Batalla de San Romano de Von Dangel (I) y (II)” [The Battle of San Romano by Von Dangel (I) and (II)], both published in 1990 (doc. nos. 1154028 and 1154092, respectively); Julio Ortega’s preface, “La iridiscencia del ojo de la materia o como leer un objeto artístico procesal” [The Iridescence of the Eye of the Material or How to Read a Procedural Artistic Object] (1997) (1155251); and by Axel Stein, in English, “Interview with Miguel Von Dangel,” (1998) (1102348). For more, see the text by Yasmin Monsalve, “Mi obra ha tenido que luchar contra muchos prejuicios: Un premio nacional visto con la luz de Petare” [My work Has Had to Contend With Many Prejudices: A National Award Winner Seen Through the Light of Petare] (1102125); the texts by Elsa Flores, “Miguel Von Dangel: La respuesta latinoamericana (I)” [Miguel Von Dangel: he Latin American Response (I)] (1155150), “Miguel Von Dangel: La respuesta latinoamericana (III)” (1154906), and “Miguel Von Dangel” (1056044); the essay by Ruth Auerbach, “Hoy, el paisaje es aquí y ahora” [Today Landscape is Here and Now] (1996) (855314); the article by Víctor Guédez, “Lo barroco y lo simbólico en la obra de Miguel Von Dangel” [The Baroque and the Symbolic in the Work of Miguel von Dangel] (1154124); and by María Cecília Valera, “Entrevista con Miguel Von Dangel” [Interview with Miguel Von Dangel] (1154060).