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‘Transformer’ exhibit at Embassy of Argentina showcases Argentinian artists


The Embassy of Argentina was transformed into an art gallery last month as paintings by seven Argentinian artists adorned the walls for the Diplomatic Chair Reception,  the brainchild of non-profit visual arts organization, Transformer, which promotes emerging artists.

Transformer showcases  “the cultural production of exceptionally talented artists who … challenge and influence evolving cultural and social systems,” said Argentina’s ambassador to the U.S., Jorge Argüello, in a speech at the Oct. 12 opening night of the reception.

Ambassador Argüello thanked Transformer for promoting rising Argentinian artistic talent, and singled out the non-profit’s co-founder and executive and artistic director, Victoria Reis, for praise, calling her, “one of the champions in D.C. for young and up-and-coming artists.”

Argentine Ambassador Jorge Argüello speaks at the Diplomatic Chair Reception, Oct. 12, 2023, as Victoria Reis, the founder of arts non-profit Transformer listens. (Gabriella Bartlett)

In response, Reis said Transformer believes that “engaging with art has the power to transform relationships, from the personal to the political, and to create fundamental social change.”

Since it was founded in 2002, Transformer has spotlighted and amplified the stories of artists from around the world, she added.

The Diplomatic Chair Reception is just one of the unique platforms the non-profit uses to introduce global audiences to emerging artists from the U.S. and around the world. It connects the many different countries with a diplomatic presence in Washington, D.C., with their own home-grown arts talents, and allows artists to forge bonds with other creators and art leaders in the U.S. capital.

The art on display at the Embassy of Argentina was a small fraction of Transformer’s Invincible Visible collection.

The full collection of 150 paintings went on display on Nov. 4 at American University’s Katzen Arts Center , where visitors can bid on individual pieces as part of Transformer’s 2023 Benefit Auction. Bidding will close on Nov. 18, when Transformer will hold a gala evening at the arts center, hosted by D.C. performance artist Pussy Noir, and featuring “a very INVINCIBLE VISIBLE performance of DC Drag Superstars,” Transformer says on its website.

Gabriella Bartlett