The Argentinian quadriga of the Good Fortune is formed by Jorge Luis Borges, Macedonio Fernández, Xul Solar y Gustavo Charif.
–Fernando Arrabal, writer and filmmaker; L’Express magazine, Paris.-
Excellent Charif! I love the rays of genius that flash lightning and exalt us. Thank you!
–Héctor Yánover, writer; manuscript message left to Charif in an exhibition.-
Extracts from the first letter sent by Milan Kundera to Gustavo Charif (2002),
and the artist book Dos Cartas exhibited in the Centro Cultural Borges (2004)
ChériCharif: It’s always a great joy hear you (although this time was not by phone but through e-mail). And a joy duplicated by your vision/version of the “12 Eaters of Salts without Corn”. Obviously I reciprocate to your declaration of love / humour with a categoric, reckless and irresponsible YES (with accent and capital letters). I am truly very at ease in your DaVincian company…
–Fernando Birri, filmmaker and theorist; extract from a letter to Charif, Roma, August 31, 2005.-
Gustavo Charif is Argentinian, has 36 years old and look like a rock star. But he’s a flamboyant and talented painter admired by famous intellectuals. (…) Elusive to the traditional circle of art, brilliant, promising, Gustavo Charif is here among us.
–Claudio Savoia, investigative journalist; Viva magazine, Clarín newspaper, 2002-
Drawing by Olivier O. Olivier, gifted to Gustavo Charif by the artist (Paris, May 2002)
Querido Gustavo: aplaudo intensamente sus triunfos. Un Buda dijo: ‘No quiero nada para mí que no sea para los otros’. Lo que a mí me hizo comprender que todo lo que obtuvieran de bueno los otros era también para mí… El ciudadano llega a su cima cuando aprende a celebrar los valores del otro. Mucho, pues, me alegra su jubilosa realización: la estimo un regalo para mi alma. [*]
–Alejandro Jodorowsky, filmmaker and writer; extract from a letter to Gustavo Charif; Paris, May 19, 2002.- [* Note: text translated from the original Spanish among the quotations at the side of this website.]
I am very grateful for the images of your paintings that have amazed me. I greet you fraternally and with admiration.
–Milan Kundera, writer; from his first letter to Gustavo Charif, Paris, 2002.-
Gustavo Charif opening presents sent from the musician and author Chris Connelly (2016)
in this days I almost can’t
hesitate: is not a dead who is wander between the stretchers
the babbling ever more
detailed and the sky full of birds
pushing each other stubbornly
beaks, wings and an unworthy dream
maybe there is neecessary
to see the sky in the face
–Florencia Abadi, poet; from en el fantasmal, poem to Gustavo Charif.-
Luis Felipe Noé and Charif in the exhibition of their common friend León Ferrari (in the picture with an Italian disciple of “Yuyo” Noé), and a dedication from Noé in a book gifted to Charif by the author
For Charif, evolution is an essential part of his artistic journey.
–The Star, April 7, 2013.-
If there is any indication that contemporary art is going through something of a renaissance, Gustavo Charif can lay claim to contributing to that notion. (…) It is artworks by the likes of Charif that speak a language that cut across racial, cultural, social, educational and economic barriers to enhance artistic appreciation and awareness. They also remind us that creativity and self-expression are essential to our humanity.
–Focus Magazine, March 23-29, 2013.-
Original sketch by Jorge Polaco (idea for a film about Julio Cortázar) gifted by the filmmaker to Charif (1996),
and dedication from poet Hugo Padeletti in a copy of his Complete Works: “To Gustavo Charif in still the illusion that he might like my works so much as I like his own ones” (2001)
There are few artists who can claim their work to be prestigious enough -or even surreal enough- to achieve the honor of appearing in exhibitions alongside Salvador Dalí and René Magritte. Gustavo Charif is such a man.
–Passions magazine, vol49, 2012.-
Argentina is an extraordinary contributor to the joys and pleasures of life. Sportsmen like Fangio and Messi set on fire the enthusiasm of millions. Tango and the voice of Carlos Gardel transmit passion on daily basis. Texts by Jorge Luis Borges convey deep knowledge and enjoyment. Even Petronas Twin Towers were designed by an Argentine architect: César Pelli. With his talent, we expect Gustavo Charif to reach these levels.
–H. E. María Isabel Rendón, Ambassador from Argentina in Malaysia, Art Expo Malaysia catalogue, 2012.-
Dr. Stéphane Dovert (Scientific and Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of France in Malaysia), Mrs. Agnes Dovert (Director of the Alliance Française) and Her Excellency María Isabel Rendón (Ambassador of Argentina to Malaysia) with Charif in his solo show in Kuala Lumpur (2012)
Gustavo Charif: you are such a darling boss!
–Leng Yein, model, DJ and Asian celebrity.-
His extraordinary creative imagination is deployed through underground paths. (…) To the complexity of his proposal he incorporate the landscape full of clues, codes and hermetic meanings, and the quest of answers in science, alchemy and the study of religions. (…) Because, as Einstein said, “the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious”.
–Corinne Sacca Abadi (International Association of Art Critics): Visual Homage to the Poetic Fiction.-
The remembered writer Alberto Laiseca visiting Gustavo Charif in his exhibition Alexandria, and gifting a book with this dedication (obviously joking with the family name Sharif): “To Omar Charif, from the Monster, from the Beast”
Entering the world of Charif is like entering a jungle where unexpected surprises await us. Everything is there, and we are invited to participate in that what is also not there, because his wealth of experiences (vital, literary, magical) is so dense that we feel inexhaustible the perception of each work. Charif has the gift of immersing us in an unfathomable microcosm that we interrogate and which interrogates us: we cannot remain indifferent.
–Guillermo Whitelow, poet, museologist and art critic (International Association of Art Critics): Gustavo Charif: the Visual Spell.-
The painting of Gustavo Charif is exultant of incidents, is an endless circuit, a writing of fantastic shapes. (…) We need to being aware if we don’t want to miss crucial details due his artworks are situated in the crossing between magic and religious, heresy and mysticism that bring at mind the paintings of a Hieronymus Bosch.
–Laura Feinsilber, art critic; Ámbito Financiero newspaper, 2002.-
Charif with the legendary ethologist, writer and artist Enrique Lerena de la Serna (a.k.a. Ithacar Jalí, 1998)
As usual, Charif is able to surprise us, and this time with the double virtue to find that his painting became more mature.
–Laura Feinsilber, art critic; Ámbito Financiero newspaper, 2003.-
If you don’t know Charif, you should do. His prolific career as artist brings him to explore all disciplines.
–Sabrina Cuculiansky, journalist; Charif, a One-Man Band; La Nación newspaper.-
Charif in Kuala Lumpur with the great Malaysian painter Syed Thajudeen (with a Charif’s book in his hands)
A kind of talented genius and multifaceted hard to describe.
–Lorena Filomeno, La Razón newspaper.-
Gustavo Charif, the unveiling of the suns…
–Christine Castro Gache, art critic and curator, Buenos Aires Herald newspaper.-
Top model Estefanía Pigazzi with Charif in his solo exhibition (2004) and a tempera on paper made by her and gifted to the artist (2002)
A mixing of child and millenarian being, Gustavo Charif can intimidate us by the amount of knowledge he brings. Cultured as few, nothing is unknown to him.
–Florencia Canale, writer and journalist, Noticias magazine, 2004-
His work appears as the expression of a thought which cross the interest in alchemy, mathematics, religion and in biology readings. However Charif deceives us: where apear an alleged disorder, exists “his” own order, within which allows his permanent search. (…) Everything is revised in this exorcism of painting.
–María Teresa Constantín: art critic; The Alchimist of the Painting, Tres Puntos magazine.-
Radiography of Souls (1996), by Ulrike Altekruse (given by the German photographer to Gustavo Charif)
…Because Charif covers everything. This attempt warlike, with warring elements, is offered with an impossibility: it’s very hard to describe his paintings, trying to be honest with his proposal. This means that maybe we can afiliate him to some aesthetic trends and give a name to his work. We can say he look alike a bit to Xul Solar, or that he has something expressionist and that his variegatled landscapes with its trickles reminds us Antoni Gaudí. However, Charif is all this but also very original and certainly personal. So much so that, we can postulate that Charif’s style is Charifaesque or Charifiesque as commonly we use Kafkaesque or Felliniesque.(…) For all this, those who know him say that he is a genius.
–Laura Isola, art critic; The avant-garde is like this, Página 12 newspaper.-
Restless, multifaceted, Gustavo Charif cultivates staggering thematic that collect reality visions, attenuated by a lightly baroque air that adds splendour to the canvases.
–Diana Castelar, art critic, Estímulo magazine.-
Desclave (Nicolás Romano, 2016) – Oil on wood (27 x 16 cm) with the following dedication in the reverse:
“To Gustavo, generous master and anarcho-fractalist, with admiration and fondly. -Nicolás.”
Celebra, Gustavo Charif, | Celebrates, Gustavo Charif,
la lágrima y el huevo, | the tear and the egg,
los cuerpos irreales, | the unreal bodies,
el presente confuso | the confusing present
y la eternidad en bruto. | and the unpolished eternity.
Él, que convida, es convite. | He, who gives, is the treat.
–Fernando Arrabal, writer and filmmaker; Paris, October 1999.-
Danièle Noël, Maxime Godard, Luce-Moreau Arrabal, Laurence Imbert, Anouk Ferjac, Fernando Arrabal and Gustavo Charif, 2002)
NOTE: There are different writs about Gustavo Charif by Fernando Arrabal, like his “Dialogue with Satan” (originally in French) and articles published in Spain and France. The full texts with English versions will be coming soon in a special section of this website.