• Bridney Casillas

Q&A with Visual Artist, Diana Cortavarria

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

A Deep Look at the Artist Who Combines Her Love for Art with the Pre-Columbian Ideas of Form, Knowledge, and Spirituality

By Bridney Casillas

"‪I mostly keep my face anonymous because I make street work," says Cortavarria.

Cultured AF is pleased to kick off its monthly Q&A series with another interview. For this month, Bridney Casillas is pleased to interview visual artist, Diana Cortavarria.

Currently residing in Worcester, Massachusetts, the 30-year-old artist says she remembers her first artwork being a drawing of her family she made at the age of 6 that she has saved in her memories.

Born in Lima, Perú, she hails from a long line of family members who were artists. Her great-grandfather was a sculptor in Lima, and his daughter, her grandmother was a fashion designer.

Her grandfather on her mother's side was a woodworker. She says in her case, she began to "introduce performance" into her work through live paintings.

Cortavarria compares her studio space to a "cave-like" atmosphere, stating "the ideas and executions are immensely part of the private walls of the studio and then the final product goes out to the world to be enjoyed by the public."

We dig a little deeper into the creative world of Diana Cortavarria in this Q&A where we learn more about her top three favorite artworks she created, what her artwork represents, and which piece she is currently working on.

Bridney C: Name and describe the top three favorite artworks you have created.

Diana Cortavarria: This is difficult because I work with a wide range of mediums always trying to figure out what else I can do. I like to challenge myself. So I’ll take this as a challenge as well. For this purpose, I chose artworks in different techniques (see below):

BC: What does your artwork represent? On average, how long does it take for you to complete an art piece?

DC: My artwork represents my values, my ethnicity, and my hopes for the future. My characters represent me, you, everyone. They seek connection using a contemporary style and ancient symbolism. My pieces show the raw pencil beginnings a lot of the time because life is dirty, messy, and I like to see that rough underneath. It usually depends on what technique I’m working with but I can work on completing a piece from 3 hours to 75 hours. It just depends on the project that I am working on. Timing goes like this: paintings take the least of my time, duct tape mixed media usually take more than 20 hours per portrait, and sculptures take over my life hours and hours on end.

BC: What is one piece you are currently working on or you recently finished?

DC: I’m currently working on making a toy based on one of my alien characters. It means so much to get this piece created because it is a tangible hybrid between painting and sculpting in the small studio space I work from. Also, the toy workshop I learned from was taught by a Peruvian artist back home in Lima and I want to show all the skills I learned from him through the making of this toy.

I am extremely excited to launch my website and release limited-edition merchandise with my characters that are in the works like hoodies, t-shirts, backpacks, blankets, and so much more.

BC: Describe your art style. What do the aliens that are seen in your art represent?

DC: My art style would have to be described as a scientific experiment on the recontextualization of ancient and pre-Columbian ideas of form, knowledge, and spirituality. My artwork has evolved to mainly focus on developing my alien characters who represent the existence of exploring the eternal and spiritual rather than the temporary and physical. The aliens represent that none of us are from a certain place but we are made of everything, we are from everywhere, and in that way, we are the same. I do have a love for sci-fi and astronomy, but I am especially interested in the topic of cosmovision.

BC: If you could visit any planet in the solar system or universe, what would it be?

DC: I would visit the moon, I’ve always felt very connected to it. Especially as someone who works late at night, it is my companion. And now all I need is a rocket.

Cortavarria's Toy Creation Based on One of Her Alien Characters

You can see more from Diana Cortavarria on Instagram. Be sure to be on the

lookout for her Free Art Friday's announcements for free giveaways.

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