“Woven Together” Is a Heartwarming Artistic Tribute in Hudson

Argentinian artist Marcelo Bengoechea keeps his late brother Fernando’s legacy alive through art in his new "Woven Together" exhibit in Hudson.

While Hudson’s foley&cox HOME typically offers customers a selection of artisanal home furniture, accessories, and textiles, something special will join this lineup on September 2 in the form of woven photography. Handcrafted by Argentinian artist Marcelo Bengoechea, the “Woven Together” exhibit consists of woven photographs originally taken by Marcelo’s late brother, internationally acclaimed photographer Fernando Bengoechea. However, “Woven Together” is more than just an art exhibit, but rather a story about brotherly love and keeping a loved one’s memory alive. This was the motivation for the project that Marcelo describes as “a collaboration between two brothers, one in Heaven and one on Earth.”

Fernando Bengoechea / Photo courtesy of Jorge Insua

Fernando’s life was taken at the age of 39 by a massive tsunami while vacationing in Sri Lanka with his partner, Nate Berkus, who miraculously survived the catastrophe. It is never easy to accept such a tragedy, and this was certainly the case for Marcelo, who spent years grieving his brother’s death before he made it his mission to keep Fernando’s art alive.

Fernando had pioneered his technique of woven photography by slicing two identical prints into small strips and hand-weaving them together to create one cohesive image. It took Marcelo 10 years of studying his brother’s unfinished works before he finally felt comfortable creating on his own.

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“Sharing his art form allowed me to feel Fernando’s energy pass through my hands, reminding me that life is what we make of it and that just like him, to live it to the fullest,” he explains.

Marcelo Bengoechea / Photo courtesy of Jorge Insua

Marcelo has not always been an artist, and in fact does not consider himself one now, but rather thinks of himself as more of a renaissance man. Originally, his sights were set on the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as a track and field athlete, but he failed to qualify and then went on to pursue a design career. Making his way from graphic designer to art director and later creative director, Marcelo affirms that he has always been a creative type, exploring mixed media as a child and participating in group shows, but it was really Fernando who inspired his own creation of art.

Marcelo weaving Karma Tree #3 / Photo courtesy of Jorge Insua

As he carries on his brother’s tradition, Marcelo is also always looking to evolve it and offer his own interpretations of woven photography. Up until now, he has only used Fernando’s photographs in his works, but plans to use his own and collaborate with other photographers in the future to reinvigorate the technique with new patterns and materials.

Perhaps most well-known from the “Woven Together” exhibit is the “Karma Tree” series, originally created by Fernando in 2002 and exhibited in NYC, LA, Chicago, Paris, Venice, and Milan. The series displays powerful and striking images that Fernando photographed in Joshua Tree, California over 20 years ago. “Karma Tree #1” is the first woven photograph Marcelo had completed, figuring it out as he went. Other images in the exhibit include pieces from the “New York City” collection, the “Palms” collection, and the “Still Life” collection.

A framed Karma Tree #1 / Photo courtesy of Jorge Insua

When Marcelo looks back on his own relationship with woven photography, he is grateful that an art form he once saw as difficult and tedious is now a meditative action that flows from his hands and allows him to feel his brother’s energy. The beauty of the technique, he says, lies in a uniqueness of composition and flawed bends, misalignments, and signs of touch that make each woven photograph one-of-a-kind. In a similar way, Marcelo hopes that “Woven Together” will remind viewers that our relationships with each other are also unique, distinct, and specific to us, but that we are ultimately all woven together through love.

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Marcelo will attend the opening night reception of the “Woven Together” exhibit on September 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. at foley&cox HOME on Warren Street in Hudson. The exhibit contains limited-edition pieces that are available in two sizes, and the artwork will remain in the store and on sale for at least 30 days after the opening reception.

Related: Fall Arts Preview: What to Do in the Hudson Valley This Autumn

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