INSIDE ISSUE 104: UP LIFT
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Empowerment and Inspiration Through Street Art
About twenty kilometres from the centre of Lima to the west of the Peruvian capital, in the district of Ate, lies the neighbourhood of Los Alisos de Amauta. In this settlement, perceived by its inhabitants and visitors as a safe and lively place, are some of the figurative installations–and one of the most rewarding collaborative projects–of the artist Xomatok. Xomatok studied advertising design in the National Public Technological Institute of Design and Communication in Lima, Peru. He was interested in sharing his perspective as a student– and the everyday hustle–that made him pay special attention to architecture, the juxtaposition of materials, and the social nuances that blend in the city. His curiosity in confronting and understanding graffiti and visual expressions in public spaces is what led him to street art. Xomatok's work emphasises the visible spectrum and the relationship between humans and their environment. By endowing neglected, abandoned or time-shaken spaces with vivid colours, he has transformed the atmosphere of local communities. This peculiar anti-system vision–in which he invites people to vindicate themselves through happiness and emotions–has attracted the attention of the state, which, through cultural actions, is trying to change their own status quo. Such was the case of Pinta Lima: Edición Bicentenario, a project of the municipality of Lima that called on Xomatok and eight other artists to intervene in public spaces in seven neighbourhoods in the districts of Ate, Comas and San Juan de Lurigancho....