Latin blood runs through their veins: artists who define what it means to be from Latin America

These are some of the artists have defined, intentionally or not, the Latin American identity

Latin blood runs through their veins: artists who define what it means to be from Latin America

As Latin Americans, we have often asked ourselves: what unites us? What makes us different from the citizens of other regions? These same questions have crossed the work of our artists throughout history. Possibly we will never respond with total satisfaction to these questions, but some contemporary artists have given us options. In the work of some of them we can find the answer:

Leer en español: La sangre latina corre por sus venas: artistas que definen qué significa ser de Latinoamérica

María Verónica León, Ecuador

León is one of the most recognized contemporary Ecuadorian artists, in part because her career has a particular global character. As shown on her website, she lives and works in Dubai and is one of the first artists in Latin America to settle in the UAE. She is considered one of the ambassadors of Ecuadorian art in the world. She has had a very rich career and has explored painting, performance, video, sculpture, drawing, among other artistic media. One of the subjects that she is most passionate about is reflections and a large part of her work circulates around the mirror and the myths that surround it.

Charquipunk and La Robot de Madera, Chile

They are two urban artists who have sought to fill the streets of Valparaíso with murals that represent the Chilean identity. According to an interview with Buenos Aires Street Art, Charquipunk has devoted a part of his career to painting the national birds of his country. The Wood Robot, on the other hand, has been dedicated to the human figure, so together they create murals in which they combine these two approaches. Urban art and murals are usually a perfect setting to reflect the identity of a country, because it is public by nature. In addition, its large format allows it to be a canvas for thought.

Antonio Briceño, Venezuela

Briceño is a Venezuelan photographer who has dedicated himself to creating artistic pieces that highlight the indigenous culture. His work is part of the NGO Art Works for Change and although it is an artistic photography in essence, his work has a social background that can not be ignored. Indigenous cultures are one of the parts that Latin American history and culture have tried to put aside; for that reason, Briceño has sought to rescue it throughout his career.

Mario Testino, Peru

Testino is one of the most recognized fashion photographers in the world. He is responsible for a large number of Vogue covers and other publications of the same prestige. However, one of his projects on which less light shines is that of the traditional costume of Peru. In an extensive photographic series, Testino seeks to highlight the colors, details, and symbols of the traditional clothing of his country, building through this photographic rhetoric an identity narrative.


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Jorge Selarón, Brazil

Although he was born in Chile, this painter developed most of his career in Brazil. He is recognized by the Selaron stairs in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most popular tourist attractions. This particular work has helped to create the identity of the Brazilian city and the country, since it seeks to exalt the colorful aspects for which Brazil is recognized throughout the world.


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There are many artists who explore national and regional identity. Many, like María Verónica León, create new definitions of their countries internationally by representing their countries in global scenarios. Others seek to honor some cultural aspect that has sometimes been in the background. Frequently, artists seek the answer to the question of Latin American identity by means of creating, and while they search for it, they also build it.


LatinAmerican Post | Laura Rocha Rueda

Translated from "La sangre latina corre por sus venas: artistas que definen qué significa ser de Latinoamérica"

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