Art of the Issue: Paula Muente-Mizushima

Irene Si, Arts&Style

What medium did you use for this piece?

I used the app Procreate to edit and draw over a picture I took on my phone.

What inspired you to make this piece?

My family is Peruvian, and we go to visit my cousins, aunts and uncles a lot. When we were driving to visit my grandmother, we drove past this mountain that had a lot of houses along the side, and I just took a picture. Later on, we went to an art exhibit that had art by Joan Alfaro, an Andean surrealist who took inspiration from Peruvian culture in his paintings, and I was really struck by the really bright colors. A lot of colors on the buildings in the picture I took were faded because Perú has a lot of dust and very little rain, so I got the idea in my head to make the colors as vibrant as the ones in the exhibit.

What do you like most about this piece?

I like the sky best, I think. I really like drawing the night sky, sunsets, and sunrises. They have the prettiest colors. I also like the contrast between the duller colors of the more urban parts and the brighter colors of the homes and the sky.

What does this piece mean to you?

Honestly, the final image is a little surreal. The sky in Lima never gets this pretty because it’s almost always cloudy, so sunsets are just a change from light grey to black, and the area is generally more impoverished than other districts of the city, but seeing the rundown buildings made me a little nostalgic for something I’d never seen. I mean, Perú was where the Inca’s seat of power was, even if it wasn’t in Lima itself, but conquistadores took a lot of their wealth when they destroyed the Incan empire. This is meant to be an uplifting work. There’s still hope in the future for the wrongs done to the past.