Meet Juliana Plexxo, the Latina artist combining the present and the past of art history
In the digital age where social media has homogenized creativity in an undistinguished market, discovering artists and innovators who carry on the tradition of art for the sake of art is a blessing.
Especially if they are creators committed to social causes or “artivism”.
One of those pioneers is contemporary Colombian artist and muralist Juliana Plexxo, a member of the new generation of Latino artists who are breaking the glass ceiling on the international stage.
Originally from Bogota, Juliana can trace the inspiration and strength of her pieces to the violence she experienced as a child in Colombia, to the death of her journalist father at the age of four, or to that of her grandfather, fashion designer. who took care of her afterwards.
“I think it brought out an inner strength in me that I can say today is art,” Plexxo told BELatina News.
Since then his work has been defined by mysterious geometric shapes reminiscent of early 20th century abstractionism. His work mixes faces, profiles, animal eyes and thick lines in red, black or white.
His work has been exhibited in large galleries and his murals have reached renowned spaces such as the Wynwood Art District in Miami.
His first exhibition in Spain took place at the Clubhaus in Barcelona. Today Juliana Plexxo is part of the legendary Taller 46 in Barcelona, founded by Joan Barbará, one of the great Spanish artists and pioneer of the art of printmaking.
Born in 1927 in Barcelona, Barbará was part of the glorious generation of Parisian artists of the turn of the century and counted Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró among his closest friends. On his return to Barcelona, his studio will not only house Picasso’s prints or Miró’s work but will become a root in the history of art in time.
Today, Plexxo is the only young latina work and exhibit at the legendary Taller.
“For me it’s a challenge to be there because it means that my teachers saw the potential in me. I think that more than a moment of pride, it is a very big challenge which raises the bar to go far, ”explained Plexxo.
When tradition and activism meet
For Juliana Plexxo, art and activism are inseparable, and her new project is proof of this.
Plexxo has partnered with Reby, a start-up that promotes the use of ecological and recyclable vehicles through carpooling and respect for the environment.
“It caught my attention. I have always believed that youth is the future of humanity and of society. So when this beautiful collaboration was born, we thought about doing something different – something artistic that would identify with Barcelona, which is a city that exudes art from Gaudi to Dali and many other painters.
She went on to explain the partnership to promote these environmentally friendly carpools: “The collaboration consisted in painting four different motorcycles, we decided to transform the bikes into a unique work of art and place them in the most popular places. more emblematic of Barcelona, such as La Pedrera. , Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Familia. It’s an initiative for people to enjoy the bike but also keep the underlying message, which is [the use of] sustainable mobility in cities, and I think Barcelona is a very good example.
It is artists like Plexxo who, with clear goals, inspire future generations. “My first objective, which continues to grow over time, is to defend the role of women in the art world. In the best modern times of art, only men would go out to show off their genius, which sounds good to me, but if you are asked who the best painters of all time are, women can be counted with the fingers of one hand. My second goal is to capture my Latin roots across the world. Indeed, a few months ago, I was invited to the Wynwood Art District in Miami to make a huge wall about ten meters high that I named LATINOAMERICA. And the third objective is to be able to bring to light the technique of engraving – a technique which has gradually disappeared with the use of technology. For me, mixing the past with the future is fundamental in my work.