"My inspiration comes from my Maya roots, my people and my customs. I transform it into figurative abstract art. This is how I to refer to my style, though some may refer to it as cubist."
"I believe artistic talent is something you are born with. My dad was regarded as the first artist of my village and I began to develop my skills when I was in elementary school. My inspiration comes from my Maya roots, my people and my customs. I transform it into figurative abstract art. This is how I to refer to my style, though some may refer to it as cubist.
"I come from a village on the shores of Lake Atitlan and my first job was as a lumberjack. I began to paint when I was 12 years old, a gift I inherited from my father. He preferred to paint angels with chiaroscuro techniques, and he also made sculptures.
"I think the best thing a person can do with their life is to share the knowledge acquired with the passing of time. To give what you know about your art is invaluable. My brother Antonio taught me to paint when I was 14 years old. He is regarded as our village's 'first artist' and he is also a Novica featured artist. Today I want to do right by him and teach others how to paint. When I began to paint, my style was different, based on the lifestyle of our Maya ancestors. My first painting had an original theme, 'The Division of San Juan's Catholic Church.'
"I have faced some difficult times, since the life of an artist is not an easy one. We always meet challenges along the way but the most important thing is to be proud of what you do, especially your artistic expression. Throughout my artistic career, I have learnt to deal with bad experiences and to take the most advantage of the good ones.
"One of the most difficult situations I have faced happened when my work began to capture the attention of visitors coming to my village, because other artists began to copy my style and make a profit. They even forged my signature so they could get a higher price! Now, when I think back to those days I smile and can't help feeling that if you're an up and coming artist, you should strive to make a name for yourself, since that's all an artist has, instead of signing as someone else.
"I dream of the day I become a famous artist and that my paintings are shown all over the world. I would also love to visit other countries. But my greatest ambition is to be known as a 21st century artist. I want to develop my style better and reveal my new artistic world, always through paintings.
"I have also had funny things happen to me as an artist, like the time when I decided to make an easel with reed and jute. All who saw it laughed so much! However, my little easel's life was shortcut when my mother saw it and threw it into the fire! She didn't know what it was!
"The style I have now developed comes from a search for something new. There were many artists painting folkloric and ancestral themes and I wanted to create a new style. I was inspired by Picasso. I studied his paintings and was fascinated by his unique use of color. I also like the way he transformed geometrical figures. The difference is that Picasso's art is European and mine is Maya.
"At first I only used two colors, blue and a nude skin tone, like a pale pink. However I was struggling to make many combinations based on just those two colors. I felt my compositions were lifeless – like there was something missing. Then in 2000, I discovered more lively, vibrant colors, and you won't believe where! I was taking a computer course because I've never gotten along with computers, and the teacher taught me how to use the Paint program. He taught me how to draw lines, make shapes, and how to fill them with color. When I saw my drawings with those colors I was amazed at the possibilities it offered if I could just mix those colors for my paintings! My first composition with those colors was 'The Deer Dance,' which I consider my masterpiece.
"I have received several diplomas and national recognitions, including several Glifos from Guatemala's Bienal de Arte Paiz. Opening in 1978, the Bienal de Arte Paiz is not only regarded as an important exhibition, but it consolidates Guatemala's artistic scene by changing the public's attitude toward contemporary art. It is a key element in today's cultural scene.
"I have also participated in several national exhibitions in renowned locations, as well as in Arizona and New York."