Colours Among the Desolate Beauty of the Altiplano
24 Oct, 2016 | Alexis Galanis
Photo: Alexis Galanis
Celebrated Artist Mamani Mamani’s Towering Murals
As you drive through El Alto to zona Mercedario, the landscape becomes stark, and the hectic hubbub of La Ceja softens to silent desolation. Clouds of dust from the occasional passing vehicle seep through the car window as paved roads give way to dirt tracks. Over the horizon, seven towering multicoloured buildings at the heart of this neighbourhood emphatically break the terracotta monotony of the barren suburban landscape.
The greens, reds, whites, yellows, blues, oranges, and purples of the Wiphala swirl around, loudly but delicately singing of Andean heritage across 14 stunning murals in this astonishing, unprecedented project undertaken by the Aymara artist Roberto Mamani Mamani. As the afternoon sun pushes through the subsiding clouds, these sky-high kaleidoscopic figures come to life. The walls glimmer, their colours enliven, and each window becomes its own work of art, dozens of canvases of reflected paint set within these colourful giants.