Street art, in many ways, changes from place to place. Not simply in style, since different artists are working in different cities, but in terms of culture, of subject matter, and of what’s depicted. After Los Angeles enacted its infamous street art ban, the city’s street art took a noticeable turn. Styles morphed as artists had less time, and other things on their minds, as they made their art. Meanwhile, Sao Paulo completely legalized street art, encouraging artists. As a result, the city’s street art became more ambitious, more influential, and many world famous artists began to emerge from the scene.
Peru is an exceptionally large and disparate country, one that stretches from the Northern end of Chile all the way up to Ecuador. From its capital of Lima in the south west, the country spreads out, with pockets of beautiful landscapes run completely by locals to the dense, tourist-heavy areas of Cusco and the Sacred Valley, where some of the most fascinating Incan ruins remain. Being so large and so disparate, the country has managed to produce a varied street art culture. Partially derived from the disparity found in the people, and partly in the variations you can find in the country itself.
One artist who has managed to capture Peru in all its varied glory is Jade. Growing up in Peru himself, Jade has tapped into something that is truly important and truly beautiful about Peru: its own relationship with nature. From the mountains that house Machu Picchu to the rain forests in the north to the desserts in the west, Peru has an extremely varied landscape, one that has been met with its fair share of exploitation and abuse. But the country has been fighting to keep its nature beautiful, and has made extremely successful headways into truly progressive environmental policy. It’s a testament to the country’s love of its land, from its individual citizens to its place on the world stage, and artists like Jade have managed to tap into this unique relationship.
Jade’s artistic pieces, which range not only in size but in ambition, try to connect the human body back to nature in unique and beautiful ways. It can be simple, like a painting of a boy on a giant rock, or it can be quite abstract, like Jade’s tendency to add ghostly birds and beaks to depictions of modern day people. With all of it, Jade makes certain to connect the human subjects to nature, to bring the important relationship the Peruvian people have with their landscapes to the forefront, and Jade does so with an intense colouring that you would associate with South American countries like Peru.
What Jade’s art can show us is that street art, while somewhat dependent on an urbanized space, doesn’t necessarily have to ignore the natural. In fact, the relationship between people and their environment can be showcased as beautiful and intrinsic. Jade’s art manages these spaces, and Jade does so while making something that is truly Peruvian.