He was a master communicator of the ayahuasca experience. He was entirely self-taught, and able to paint with meticulous botanical precision the Amazonian landscapes and the essential mythic content of his visions. His paintings depict the visions that he received during his years of practice as an ayahuasquero plant healer , they capture the spirits, sub-aquatic cities, celestial realms, extra-terrestrial beings of great wisdom, sorcerers in battle with shamans, all revealed to him by ayahuasca. On the day they remove the cover, they should prepare themselves by bathing and meditating. In Pablo founded the Usko Ayar Amazonian School of Art in Pucallpa, dedicated to depicting and preserving the ways of life and indigenous knowledge of the Amazon. Indeed, as depictions of ayahuasca experiences have grown normative, it may be that in addition to the experience prescribing the art, the art is prescribing the experience.
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Early life[ edit ] Amaringo was born the seventh of 13 children in in Puerto Libertad , a small settlement on the banks of a tributary of the Ucayali River. When Amaringo was a boy, his family were reduced to extreme poverty after some years of relative prosperity. As a result, they moved to Pucallpa where Amaringo attended school for just two years before he was forced to find work to help support the family.
When he was 17, Amaringo became extremely ill, nearly dying from severe heart problems. For over two years he could not work. He believes he was eventually cured due to a local healer. Career[ edit ] It was while recovering from this illness that he started to draw and paint for the first time. Amaringo began making drawings with pencil and shading with soot from lamps.
From a friend employed in a car factory he got permatex, a blue substance with which he coloured the drawings. He had no money for paper so he used cardboard boxes. Sometimes he took a little lipstick and other cosmetics from his sisters. Later he used ink, watercolours and then a friend gave him six tubes of oil paint. Soon Amaringo began to make money from portraits, but lost his market when photographers began to colour black-green-and-white prints.
For seven years, —76, he travelled extensively in the region acting as a traditional healer. In , Pablo abandoned his vocation as a shaman. He warns: "Ayahuasca is not something to play.
It can even kill, not because it is toxic in itself, but because the body may not be able to withstand the spiritual realm, the vibrations of the spiritual world. Art school[ edit ] Until shortly before his death, Amaringo worked as a painter, reworking the visions he experienced during his shamanic practice, and at the same time teaching young people to paint at his art school, in Pucallpa, where he worked as a director and founder along with Luis Eduardo Luna in This school is also dedicated to the teaching of the preservation of the ecosystems of the Amazonian area, work for which, during the Earth Conference that was held in Rio de Janeiro in , Pablo Amaringo was awarded the Global Roll of Honor , granted by the United Nations environmental preservation program, for the work carried out by the institution led by him, and for the achievements made during these years of work.
These are the objectives of the school: to foster in the youth, through artistic education, understanding and respect for the Amazonian environment, strengthen their cultural identity so that they can improve their living conditions.
Generate a great artistic documentation of the flora, fauna and cultural tradition of the Peruvian Amazon that can be used in scientific and popular publications and in the development of ethnobotanical gardens, near the two largest cities of the Peruvian Amazon Pucallpa and Iquitos , and to preserve and promote traditional knowledge of useful and medicinal plants.
To help develop the school as a cultural center, very necessary, where young people will have the opportunity to learn not only painting, but also theater, traditional dances and music, pottery and other crafts, to disseminate knowledge locally as an international- about the Amazonian nature, art and culture. Before dying, he was working on the paintings of angels, as well as paintings documenting the flora and fauna of Peru.
Book[ edit ] When Luna and McKenna met Amaringo in , he was living in poverty, barely surviving by teaching English to young people from his home and selling the odd painting to passing tourists. Luna suggested he paint some of his visions, a project which became the basis of a coauthored book, Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman North Atlantic Books
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He was a master communicator of the ayahuasca experience. He was entirely self-taught, and able to paint with meticulous botanical precision the Amazonian landscapes and the essential mythic content of his visions. This book depicted the visions that he had received during his years of practice as an ayahuasquero. The paintings capture the spirits, sub-aquatic cities, celestial realms, extra-terrestrial beings of great wisdom, sorcerers in battle with shamans, all revealed to him by ayahuasca. We decided to visit Pablo in Pucallpa we had known Pablo and collected his work for many years and discuss this with him. On the day they remove the cover, they should prepare themselves by bathing and meditating. Indeed, as depictions of ayahuasca experiences have grown normative, it may be that in addition to the experience prescribing the art, the art is prescribing the experience".
The Ayahuasca Visions of Peruvian Artist Pablo Amaringo
Ayahuasca visions : the religious iconography of a Peruvian shaman