bio / artist statement
I was born in Lima and, as an artist, grew up in New York. Why do I say this? I was raised and educated in Lima and went to art school at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú where I specialized in printmaking. But in 2000 I moved to New York and returned to Lima in 2011 a completely different artist.
I dreamed of New York long before I lived it. While there I made self-referential pieces as well as art about Peru's internal conflict and I worked as an educator in some of the most prestigious museums and with various audiences such as children, seniors, teachers, teens, incarcerated youth and adults, harm reduction peers and the homeless. I lived in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan but my biggest connection was with the neighborhoods of LIC and Bushwick where I connected to larger artist communities. Perhaps my most significant influence as a person and artist while in New York was with Isamu Noguchi, the quintessential artist of dual identity.
Even before I left for New York my Peruvian identity was ambiguous. Being of both European and Andean descent, like Noguchi, I look different and am darker than many Peruvians in my social and artistic circle.
I have also always been ill, so I experience and have always experienced my body as both a problem and as a mixed message. My art navigates in dualities and contradictions and is therefore instinctively self-referential and physical. This is true even of pieces that directly address moments in Peruvian history such as my installation ´The 69,280 Scars' which commemorated Peruvian lives lost to civil war through a band-aid for each victim.
To that physical ambiguity I now have to add a split identity, that of Limeña and New Yorker. I am bilingual and, in a way that I do not yet fully understand, bi cultural. My early work was both physical and political. My recent work is physical and contemplative. When I moved back to Lima I entered a state of cultural shock which I still live in albeit to a lesser extent. I have had to understand myself in this very different context and in a way start constructing my identity as a person and artist again. It is in this scenario that my current body of work came to be. Perú is a rich land yet unbearably poor. Its richness lies in its resources and ancient culture. I went through long periods of illness once here and decided to process this though my artwork at the same time that I became interested with traditional Peruvian healing practices, plants and herbs. This made me take a strong look at how I dealt with my sick states and that is how 'Pharmacy' (This is a working title that comes from looking at the work of artist Damien Hirst), my current body of work, came to be.
I honestly believe that the work that I am doing at the moment is the best I have ever achieved and I am proud to present it here. This body of work will be presented in my upcoming eighth solo exhibition in Centro Cultural Ricardo Palma, in Lima, in April 2017.