My art story begins in Medellin and all thanks to Garfield
Born in 1984 in Medellin, Colombia, in a family of business administrators, I obviously was the black sheep. Artist since I can remember, enrolled in art academies since I was five years old and did poorly in any subject that did not involve creativity. All because my mother saw me drawing a Garfield cartoon and said to me, you did this without tracing it? Oh, you're going to art school! I was five when I took my first class. I am thirty five and still take many classes to keep my mind creative and sharp.
When I was fifteen I moved to the U.S where I went to High School in Weehawken, New Jersey and received the Class Artist Award my Senior year, only to be a proud recipient of a full ride scholarship to study Fine Arts at Bergen Community College. After graduation I began to paint professionally and exhibit my work numerous times throughout NJ and NYC. I was proud to be a part of the Neumann Leathers studios and the art community in Hoboken, New Jersey. I had the pleasure to call that place home for a couple of years, and painted without stopping every single day. Many good people have my art hanging on their walls, art created in this amazing place.
Due to a fucked up immigration story I had to leave the States and move back to Medellin, Colombia, where I interrupted my art practice but used my art to start a clothing brand and bring that business side of the family to fruition. The name of my brand was beFREE clothing Co. and thanks to our award-winning business idea we suffered extortion and were forced to shut down. Bummer.After shutting down our shop, I landed a sweet gig in the biggest streetwear brand in the country called Mattelsa in the production area and we took that company to a new level.
Two years later we decided to move to Canada and start a life in a safe place where we don't have to fear for our lives and my art could finally flourish. Since December 2016 believe it has.
In 2019 I was the proud recipient of the Refugee and Newcomer Mentorship Grant by Toronto Arts Council and had a great opportunity to exhibit my work at Arta Gallery in the Distillery District.