Kukuli Velarde : “The Complicit Eye”


Audrey Jakubik, Centurion Staff

Peruvian artist Kukuli Velarde visited the Newtown campus to speak about her exhibit “The Complicit Eye” that is on display in the Hicks Art Gallery.

From 5 p.m. to 7p.m. on Sept.8, individuals were able to browse Velarde’s exhibit and hear the artist speak about her creative process. Velarde spoke in detail about her complex works of art. Her husband and young daughter watched her speak from the crowd.

Velarde began with speaking about her background with art and how her father motivated her to start painting.

“My father would tell me why don’t you paint. You’re wasting your time with ceramics, paint,” said Velarde. At a young age Velarde found inspiration and began to paint portraits of herself in different scenarios.

She recalled when her father finally saw some of her self-portraits.

“She’s painting, but she’s painting herself naked,” said Velarde, quoting her father’s reaction to her paintings.

Velarde gushed about one of her favorite self-portraits, one that she did of herself when she was pregnant, and in the nude. “I saw myself for the first time as beautiful. This is beauty through my own eyes.” said Velarde.

“I struck that pose because I wanted people to know that I felt the most beautiful at that age.”

Velarde also spoke about inspiration for her other works.

Such as one painting titled, Las Mercedes de la Virge (2012), which pictures a man and small child at her breasts. “This is actually a family portrait” said Velarde, explaining that it resembles her husband and daughter.

Another one of Velarde’s painting titled, Las Tentaciones de Santa Rosita (2007) depicts herself surrounded by faces of evil.

“Temptations are always surround us or we resist,” said Velarde in reference to the meaning of the painting

Velarde said many of her paintings are also related to the idea of colonization.

Velarde’s, Nak’aq Archangel (2006) depicts an archangel with a decapitated head in hand.Velarde explained, “For me, Archangels are a symbol of colonization.”

Velarde made it clear she actually likes to do anything but plan out her artistic visions, and she just enjoys going with whatever comes to her at the moment.

“I am not much into making drafts,” she said. “To me, it is not fun to have a small version of what I want to do. Part of making art is to have fun. You should always have fun
throughout the whole process.”

Velarde proudly finished speaking about the collection of paintings and took questions from the crowd.

“The Complicit Eye” exhibit will remain available to view in the Hicks Art Gallery until Oct. 19.