I am a digital artist living in Los Angeles, California.
I was born in Lima, Peru, in 1976, and lived the first 40 years of my life there.
I consider my work a form of communication, a form of expression outside of the written and verbal. Beyond commenting on a fact, an image can predict what has not yet happened, it can describe an emotion that has no name, it can name things that do not exist. Time, space, the self, the other, history, a vision nurtured by many other visions, the past, the future, they all play a role in the making of an image. And yet, the artist's work belongs to a specific time and place; the work of art becomes a testimony, a confession.
When I worked as an architect I found that I wanted to apply those same resources for drawing and printing into my artwork. They would allow me to create quickly, and make multiple versions of the same piece by changing their colors and dimensions with no two printings being exactly alike. However, the final product is not the result of a formula, but carefully crafted by hand one bit at a time. The brush has been replaced by the mouse in an expression of digital craftsmanship.
Things That Are Not (2010) demonstrates the intermediate position where I stand between art and architecture. It shows an ambiguous halfway point between the flat image and the three-dimensional space.
I called “digital cut-outs” to cropped segments from recognizable images that belong to Peru’s popular imagery. In Andenes Desplazados (2014) I used fragments, close-ups taken from some motifs present in pre-Columbian ceramics from the Museo de Arte de Lima – MALI collection. The cut-out, resembling the joint of stones in an Incan wall, became a template to play with color. The title, that can be translated as Displaced Highlands, refers to the massive migration of people, from the countryside to the city in the 1970s, reconfiguring the city of Lima. “Like a huayco” (quechua word for mudslide) says the visual poem that accompanies the piece.
In Cinturas Peruanas (2016) the exercise is similar, but focused on the shape of three popular Peruvian icons: a military symbol known as National Coat of Arms, a pre-Columbian ceremonial knife called “Tumi”, and the “aribalo”, a pitcher made of clay, used to store grains and beverages in old Peru.
In Spanish “cintura” means “waist”, and the title invites the viewer to read the icons, assigning them attributes of a human body.
From the cut out there was only one step to the digital collage, Calicata (2016) takes its name from a method used for digging into soil which uses large pillars in order to reach deep solid rock.
Stars & Angels (2017) is the first series that I made after moving to the United States. it arose as a result of my long walks in Los Angeles, Hollywood and Santa Monica. I took pictures of what I observed along the way, deranged people, amputated veterans, drug addicts, white and black people, wandering the streets, carrying their belongings in supermarket trolleys, sleeping on trains and sidewalks, using a piece of cardboard as a bed and a shabby tent as a shelter. In each of these visual constructions, the face of a famous movie star has been wiped out in order to reveal what is hidden underneath. What one initially sees is like a floral wallpaper commonly used in a lavish hotel or restaurant, but when looked at closely, one discovers the sleeping bodies of homeless people floating in a saturated field of color, copied and arranged as if they were dancers in a Busby Berkeley choreography.
This Is Not A Pipeline (2018) evokes Magritte's famous piece Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe, and denounces the decision made by the government to build an oil pipeline that threatened to unleash an environmental crisis on the lands of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The title denies what the image affirms, ironically portraying the fateful spirit of our time, in which truth does not seem to matter anymore.
Thoughts and Prayers (2018) was made in the wake of the growing epidemic of mass shootings in schools throughout the United States, and the indifference of politicians who refuse to implement gun control laws.
In Glassworks (2018) I brought some techniques from traditional painting into my digital work, using the mouse as a brush, From then on, I would use this handmade style in many forms, in an attempt for painting in the real sense of the word, as is seen in the series Portraits from 2018.
A Man’s Word (2018) is a project made following a public call for an outdoor mural. Having heard the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and remembering that of Anita Hill, I sought to expose the image of my body to the effects of being outside in the street, The act of rising a hand or both s depicted as a sign for swearing as well as for being arrested.
In Expulsion from Paradise (2019), I used photographs taken of me while dancing and posing with no representational intentions. In selected photographs, I found that I could portray three characters, the attacker, the attacked, and the savior, and with them, tell a story about a cycle of rejection and acceptance.
Foto: Inigo Cerdan