Paola Escobar is a graphic artist who lives and works at an advertising agency in Bogotá, Colombia.
My friends over at Colombian art and culture site, Bacánika, turned me onto Escobar and conducted a Q & A with the young artist. When asked about her style, she gave a non-answer that made perfect sense:
How would you describe your style?
“I do not know, I could not describe it, I can hardly do it because in general those who are dedicated to this we are in a constant struggle to find the style, and you will probably never find it. But I always try to leave my essence in all illustrations, through details, as both my childhood and my life were always marked by them. I like to communicate a story and always try to fill my artwork with them. My style has no name.”
My friends from El Freaky Colectivo are no strangers to playing big concerts. Last October, they served as the only Colombian performers to open for Justin Bieber at the Nemesio Camacho stadium in Bogotá.
Colombia’s carnival, held in my parents’ hometown of Barranquilla, is upon us. For what to expect, check out theseposts I wrote for Sounds and Colours.
Though I couldn’t fit a trip to “carnavales” in this year’s schedule, I keep up with the news via barranquilladecarnaval.com. This latest bit of news is worth sharing as it brings one of Europe’s most graffiti artists to Barranquilla. A mix of folkloric tradition with a specialist in guerilla urban street art? Unexpected, but very cool.
Barranquilla, Colombia — Well-known London-based urban artist, Ronzo, will exchange knowledge with a group of artists from the port city of Barranquilla, Colombia.
Sponsored by beer-brand Club Colombia, the event will bring Ronzo together with more than 30 artisans working with the Carnival of Barranquilla — the number two most popular carnival in South America.
The aim of the exchange is for folk artists learn more about the diverse cultural expressions of graffiti, in aspects such as creativity, colors, languages and textures. Thereafter, the learning acquired by craftsmen is to serve as inspiration for the design and construction of the Club Colombia float, which will be used in the annual carnival’s biggest event — La Battala de Flores parade on March 1.
Ronzo, who refers to himself as ‘vandal extraordinaire,’ will also share his knowledge and skills with students of the Universidad del Atlántico.
Ronzo is contemplating painting a mural donated to the city of Barranquilla.
Ronzo born in Munich, Germany, and settled in London in 2000 after completing his studies in design at the School of Art in Hamburg.
It was in London where he cemented his style and became popular worldwide, leaving his creations on paper, streets, and buildings. His work is not immune to underlying social and political messages. In 2009, he installed “Crunchy, the official mascot of the global financial meltdown” in London.
Ronzo’s creations include illustrations, murals, outdoor installations, and sculptures. His work, in constant evolution, has been positioned in the streets, video games, galleries and cinematography.
I’m excited to see this float! I’ll have my cousins snap a photo for me. And even though it never tastes the same here in the States, I’ll buy a six-pack of Club Colombia to celebrate.
I wonder if it’s Ronzo’s first time at Carnival. If so, he will most definitely have fun. That’s a given! Extranjeros are always received with open arms in mi bella Barranquilla. I hope he gets to visit Santa Marta, Taganga, and Cartagena, where I remember seeing cool street art.
You never know what you’re going to find when conducting a random search on social media. Case in point: I recently typed #champeta into Instagram’s search bar and stumbled upon an interesting champeta-inspired track by, what seemed to be, a pop star from Colombia. What’s this? Is champeta going mainstream?
Turns out, the artist is Martina La Peligrosa, (real name Martina López) a native of Córdoba, on the Northern part of Colombia’s Caribbean coast…
I wanted to share a couple of recent posts I wrote for the London, England,-based Sounds and Colours, a music and culture magazine that focuses on Latin America.
SOAP OPERA RELIVES COLOMBIAN SOCCER HISTORY
One cannot discuss Colombian history of the 1990s without a mention of the national soccer teams of the era. After all, the squads of that decade made Colombian history, qualifying for three World Cups in a row—Italy ’90, USA ’94 and France ’98.
Now, those moments in futbol history are being played out in a telenovela by Caracol Television that has millions of Colombians hooked. The soap opera, “La Selección,” is also playing in the United States.
The series focuses on four of the country’s best-known players, Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama, Rene Higuita, Freddy Rincon, and Faustino Aspirilla.
If there is one thing I equate with Colombia and its people, flag, music, Carnival, Feria de las Flores, and several other festivals, it is bright, exuberant colors. So I wasn’t surprised when I stumbled upon works by Colombian artist Jorge Luis Rosenvaig.
I was searching for an image for a Chibcha (my parents had a couple of Chibcha wall ornaments when I was a kid) for a possible tattoo when I came across Rosenvaig’s “Chibchacum” on a site called Saatchi Online, a site whose tagline is “Discover Art. Get Discovered.”
Discover I did, and once I started clicking through to his other works, I immediately set out to find out more about the artist. Rosenvaig obliged with the following email interview.
The group fuse old with new to create a progressive sound which mixes traditional Colombian styles such as cumbia, gaita and champeta with boogaloo, ska, beat-box, MCs, dub and funk. There’s no way I’d miss this. And did I mention it’s FREE?
For a taste of what to expect, check out this live performance of LindaMañanita, recorded this past June in Bogota.