Amazing illustrations by Colombian artist, Paola Escobar

Paola Escobar
Paola Escobar

 

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.”

See more of Escobar’s work over at Bacánika and at Behance.

Paola Escobar
Paola Escobar
Advertisements

El Freaky to open for One Direction

Screen shot 2014-04-25 at 10.45.27 AM

 

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.

Tonight, they are set to play their signature blend of Colombia-centric global bass (cumbia, champeta, EDM, and more) for more screaming teens at El Campín stadium for the big One Direction concert. Check out the picture below, where the Engilsh/Irish boy band sport Colombia National Futbol Team jerseys. Aww. Aren’t they cute?

Will One Direction root for Colombia in World Cup 2014? Ha.
Will One Direction root for Colombia in World Cup 2014? Ha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And click here to see footage of them soundchecking in Bogotá. Who knew this kind of thing was documented on the Internet? 🙂

Unexpected pairing: Colombian carnival & Ronzo’s street art

Ronzo & a police officer in Bogotà. Pic via his Instagram.
Ronzo & a police officer in Bogotà. Pic via his Instagram.

Colombia’s carnival, held in my parents’ hometown of Barranquilla, is upon us. For what to expect, check out these posts 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.

Crunchy, the mascot for the global financial meltdown. (2009)
Crunchy, the mascot for the global financial meltdown. (2009)

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.

Follow news about the carnival at the Carnival site. Learn more about Ronzo at his site or on Twitter.

Video: ‘La Peligrosa’ by Martina La Peligrosa

Martina La Peligrosa
Martina La Peligrosa

Story by me via Sounds and Colours:

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…

Read the rest and watch the music video here.

My latest on ‘Sounds and Colours’

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.

Screen-shot-2013-08-24-at-12.19.00-AM-630x304-1

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.

Read more here.

BARRANQUILLA IS ARTIST’S CONSTANT INFLUENCE

Carnaval-de-Barranquilla.Ngra-Puloi-ToritoMarimondaGarabatoFarotaOleo-120-x-80-cms.-2012-copia-630x300

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.

Read the Q & A here.

DON’T MISS IT: ONDATRÓPICA in NYC on July 27

Photo via Soundway Records

Words cannot explain how EXCITED I am for this Friday, July 27, in New York City!

Ondatrópica will be making their US debut at the Lincoln Center Out Of Doors Festival at the Damrosch Park Bandshell. The band will feature many greats of the golden age of Colombian music including Michi Sarmiento, Alfredito Linares, Pedro Ramayá Beltran, Markitos Micolta and Wilson Vivero, alongside the two musicians who started this wonderful project, Will ‘Quantic’ Holland (whom my dad has become a HUGE fan ever since I started buying his CDs) and Mario Galeano with their bands, Combo Barbaro and Frente Cumbiero.

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 Linda Mañanita, recorded this past June in Bogota.