"Ofrenda" de flores al mar, mural en honor a todas las personas que, al igual que las flores ofrecidas al mar como vehículo, se van en busca de algo mejor, en una corriente casi a la deriva, donde no se sabe dónde o qué deparará, pero ofreciendo siempre las mejores y más bellas intenciones.
La Casa Tomada
San Salvador, 2016
Homenaje a Berta Cáceres
Gallery543 in the Urban Outfitters headquarters.
here is an interview made for the Urbn Community blog.
Brief description of you, your work, and how you got into art: I try to recreate the urban-tropical culture of where I grew up, in Central America. I’m from El Salvador and I’ve lived and worked in Philadelphia for 2 years.
I got into art through my family; my grandfather is a graphic designer and a painter, my dad and uncle are graphic designers, too. I guess I grew up with the tools and with that incentive to make art. I remember playing at my uncle’s studio, I remember my dad staying up all night to work, always with music playing, and I remember smelling the old coffee, cigarettes, PrismaColor markers and Tempera paint.
My mom is a pastry chef, she makes amazing cakes in any shape possible, I honestly think she makes Cake Boss look like an amateur. At one point, we were all working to bake cakes with my mom, making fondant figures and airbrushing. Both my parents still make art today.
I was born during the civil war--not a good time for art--but despite everything I was very lucky my family encouraged me to keep doing it.
My art has been influenced by revolutionary propaganda, I guess that’s why I feel very attracted to street art and its accessibility. I studied fine art in the National Art Center CENAR, and graphic design in UDB University, but I ended up doing graffiti and street art with my friends. For me, it’s about going to surf very early in the morning, painting all day, and playing music in the city at night.
Can you tell us about the piece you created for URBN, including the inspiration, process and Installation?
The urban piece is inspired by a volcanic eruption. In El Salvador in 1932 there was a cultural genocide, where the government tried to exterminate indigenous people, their language and their culture. The ones who survived fled; people said “se enmontañaron,” “they went to the mountains.” To me, they went to the mountains not only physically, but spiritually—they became the mountains and volcanoes. Their culture survived there, hidden from “progress.”
From time to time the mighty volcanoes wake up trembling, and they shake the land. They spit lava and big clouds of smoke, helping us to remember where we come from, and what are we made of as a country.
How did you describe your aesthetic? I find beauty in nature and people, and the underlying connection between people and nature. It’s that simple.
Do you have a mentor or have you ever had one? My family and friends are the best mentors.
what are you working on now? I’m working on illustrations of obsidian stone. The highly traded stone was used in Mesoamerica for daily activities, ceremonial sacrifices, and war, because it made knives, blades, arrowheads, and ornaments.
El Salvador is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Despite the violence, Salvadoran people and land are incredibly beautiful and volatile. I’m trying to show that El Salvador is going through a process not unlike the obsidian:
“A naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth.”
Going back to my Nahuat roots, we traveled to the town of Santo Domingo de Guzman in Sonsonate, El Salvador, to paint a mural honoring Paula Lopez, a poet, teacher and keeper of the Nahuat language and culture.
Waterfalls, sopa de gallina india, hot chocolate in the mountains, friends and familly.
PAULA TAKETZA SENPA
PAULA TAKWIKA SEJSEMPA
(Paula habla siempre, Paula canta todavia)
Big thanks to Colectivo Tzunhejekat for doing this possible.