Okuda San Miguel is visiting Quito; the Spanish artist transforms the gray cement of cities into color | People | Entertainment

Whether it’s a wall, a lighthouse, a dam or even a church, Okuda San Miguel its mission is clear wherever it goes in the world: “to transform the gray cement of cities into color”, and in Quito it continues its work with the first urban intervention it carries out in Ecuador.

The multifaceted Spanish artist has been entrusted with the first stone of walkarta project to recover the historic center of Quito to which the Embassy of Spain contributes with a series of murals on the route to the Cima de la Libertad, as part of the commemoration of the bicentennial of the Battle of Pichincha.

“I am very used to being the one who puts the flag in the places. I think Quito is going to change a lot because, in part, my mission in the world is to transform the gray cement of cities into color and above all in something more cultural that everyone can enjoy”, says Okuda in an interview with Eph.

A) Yes, Okuda is preparing to transform the ancient facade of the old cinema on May 24 Boulevard into a mural that pays tribute to the women embroiderers of the Llano Grande districtproducers of very distinctive traditional and colorful embroidery from the Andes, whom the artist was able to meet days before.

“For me it is very important to meet these embroiderers because it is part of where I feed myself as well. My work is really like a mix between the almost digital language of geometry mixed with ancestral patterns, such as the Andean, Mayan, Inca, African or Asian culture”, he explains.

andean color

This work presents three Andean women, composed through Okuda’s distinctive multicolored geometry, where one in the foreground looks directly at the passerby and the other two keep their gaze fixed on the embroidery they are making.

In the fabrics that these women wear, Okuda has also represented the traditional floral prints that are usually worn in the rural and Andean communities of the Andes, and a hummingbird has been added to the composition.

“They explained to me that when a hummingbird approaches them, they interpret it as a person who has died coming to visit them,” said Okuda, artistic name of Oscar San Miguelwho in Ecuador also has the support of the Contemporary Art Forum (Cemfac) of the Llanos de Aridane, a municipality on the Canary Island of La Palma.

Photo: José Jácome

The one in Quito is also the first intervention by Okuda after having inaugurated a few days ago in the Madrid neighborhood of Usera his Factory of Dreams, his new studio, a space of a thousand square meters that will house exhibitions by different artists and will serve as a workshop to produce all his work.

“It has been like a dream come true, because we have been working for two and a half years between the pandemic, permits, architects and design, but it is not a goal, but the beginning of something bigger,” Okuda warns.

“I really feel like I’m in a space where a lot of things can happen, like a kind of laboratory for new ideas in which very interesting things are going to come up, and above all, I get feedback from other artists that I invite,” she adds.

Photo: José Jácome

New Horizons

Once he returns from Ecuador, there he will continue to work on the preparation of a “super exhibition” that he hopes to present in Madrid in November, one of the many projects he has underway after using the stoppage period caused by the pandemic to expand their horizons.

“For me, the pandemic has been to stop catching a hundred and something planes a year to carry out the interventions that I do in the world, but on the other hand it has served to open a series of very interesting new doors and paths, such as, for example, getting into in architecture”, details Okuda.

“The fact of being locked up at home made me draw my sculptures and level them up so that they can be lived in. We are very focused on making hotel suites with skull and cat shapes,” he says.

Photo: José Jácome

He has also ventured into the world of video gameswhere it is developing one with “new heroes”, and at the same time it has opted for NFTs (non-fungible tokens), a technology that allows digital works to be marketed with a unique cryptographic code.

“It is a new language for me, a kind of animation between painting and reality,” explains Okuda, who at the same time has an exhibition open at the K 11 museum in Guangzhou (China), a country where three sculptures can also be found large format of yours.

“My dream is to continue working at the same level and continue producing bigger works,” he concludes. (I)