CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA, a series comprising twelve paintings, was inspired by photographs Rasmussen made in 2009 of graffiti found on walls in Buenos Aires during a three-week stay in the Argentinean capital. The messages he chose as subjects for his camerascribbled, scratched and spray-painted onto stucco facades and corrugated steel sidingswere primarily encountered in the San Telmo barrio, and reflect the agony of the turbulent years when the nation was ruled by a military junta, a period referred to as Argentinas Dirty War, lasting between 1976 and 1983. It is claimed that as many as 10,000 critics of the regime were killed, 30,000 were disappeared, and 60,000 were tortured during one of recent historys most contemptible instances of state sponsored terror.
To this day, every Thursday, women of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, an organization formed by mothers whose sons and daughters were disappeared during these years, march in protest in front of Casa Rosada, the Presidential Palace. While some of the graffiti Rasmussen saw through the lens showed signs of having been in place for some time, most were of recent datea poignant illustration of the fact that the scars of the Dirty War have not healed, with thousands of victims still unaccounted for.
The phrases captured in the paintings were reproduced word for word from the photographs; the images built around them, on the other hand, were products of the imagination. While most artists seek to develop a singular, unique style, recognized as their own, Rasmussen chooses to express himself in a variety of ways. This aspect is perhaps particularly apparent in his Cry For Me Argentina series: the relatively realistic style of Asesinos Legales Nunca Mas, stands in contrast to the brash spray-paint technique of Contra Toda Policia (applied to corrugated fiberglass panels), and the multi-layered lettering of Donde Esta Luciano Arruga? (where the words have been gradually sanded away, as in a fading memory).
The paintings in this and The Becomberga Mask series also illustrate Rasmussens choice to reject, for his own work, art created exclusively for the purpose of decoration in favor of art with the aim of expressing social concerns.