ESTOY | Interview
We recently discovered the great murals and works of Santiago-based artist ESTOY. Here is an exclusive interview for The re:art.
“ESTOY” means “I am”. Why did you choose this name and how does it connect with your current beliefs, thoughts and feelings? Is it important for you to live in the present, now and here?
“ESTOY” means “I’m here”, I’m alive here and now, death is very important in my life. No doubt “ESTOY” is trying to maintain awareness and use the time in this world, in this life to make way for the others. I think it’s my way of preparing for death.
You’ve painted mostly in Santiago and have often collaborated with local artists. In this regard, what does “Elementales” represent to you?
ELEMENTALES is a group formed with SANTANA and PIRI LEMAT, we realized that our work spoke of the same aspects, the subtle forces of life, and decided to work together. We get together on weekends and go to paint, as we speak of life, drink a beer, and let the wall in our interpretation of something. These two painter friends have nurtured me a lot, they are beautiful people. The group is young, but we are in a new phase in which we project new challenges.
How deeply rooted in the Chilean culture is your art?
I think it’s Latin American culture in general, which is rooted in my work, the Indians, the purity of the roots, the altiplano, Patagonia, Amazon … the origins of this continent.
You seem to have some favorite symbols – the horns, the one eye or total blindness of your characters. Can you please offer a few details regarding the themes and symbols you approach in your art?
My work is based on an admiration for the native peoples, I try to interpret their world, I think of them as evolved spiritual beings, much more than an individual living in “developed” society. In this context, my characters have morphological signs pointing evolution, no mouth and eyes, representing the development of new ways, alone with the third eye, the eye of the soul. Horns also talk about that. They are all elements that represent the spiritual evolution through human morphology.
El Mero Mero
What would you say is the purpose of man here, on Earth, in this life?
Enjoy the opportunity to be here.
We noticed that Chilean street art has a specific style, very conscious. Did this aspect determine you to start painting on the streets? We saw that your works also include paintings and illustrations. What do you like most to do as an artist?
In Chile, as in any developing country, there are many injustices and inequalities. Street art, besides being folklore and culture, is a reporting tool, a collective or individual manifestation. In this sense, street art in Chile and Latin America is very aware and there are quite political messages in their background.
I am more interested to work in the streets, in this reality, painting outside is much more nutritious than being locked in a workshop.
Is there something you would change if you could – in Chile, in the world, at yourself?
What I would change I think is already changing, it is our consciousness. Although there is a general disaster worldwide, slowly, people become more aware of various topics, I think it will be better times for new generations.
Do you plan to extend your activity at an international level? What are your plans?
Just paint wherever. I hope to be invited to paint abroad, I definitely desire this.
All images © ESTOY