Not One of Us

I  see  a  close  relationship  between  indigenous people’s  rights  being  constantly  violated,  their  land exploited  by  colonial  and  capitalistic  practices  and  how  the natural environment suffers devastation after these encounters. Animals  and plants  have  been an asset throughout human history and have also contributed to the exoticization  of  places.  Indigenous  people  from around  the globe are protectors of natural resources, and when they are displaced from their lands, animals and vegetation suffer as well.

Not One of Us is a project in which the relationship between colonialism and migration is confronted. With the series titled “Runners” which depicts refugees from different origins and their journeys, I pay tribute to those who flee their home in search of a better future. The word runner refers to someone who runs, but also refers to long narrow rugs that are meant for hallways to join different spaces, therefore I portray refugees as links that bring different cultures and places from around the globe to us. 

Besides the above works the project also includes two welcome rugs to my home city and country (Bogotá, Colombia) and several small latch-hooked rugs depicting endemic and endangered species from different countries, but mostly from places that have a lot of emigration. In juxtaposition to the fiber art pieces, I created a series of a few paintings titled “Forasteros” which is the Spanish word for foreigners. With these works I illustrates past and contemporary behaviors of colonialism inviting the viewer to reflect on the relationship between first world visitors to third or new world countries vs. the influx of immigrants to the first world and the different reactions and dispositions from both sides.

Made in China

Made in China questions the mercantile and disposable paradigm of objects in conflict with cultural identities. The body of work produced for this project inquires about the wide effects of consumerism and mass production and comments on the loss of cultural identity of indigenous communities from different parts of the world in the hands of ethnocentrism, globalization and industrialization. 

This global problem supported by us (consumers), besides devastating the environment, affects everyone but mostly minorities who have been maintaining the cultural heritage and diversity of the world alive.

Hundreds of Uyghurs sitting on praying matts, that have random apparel items scattered as if they were in a clothing factory instead of praying.

is for دۇئا but also for ئولجى / P is for Duya but also for Yolji

“P is for Pray but also for Prey”

西 is for كېۋەز / C is for Kéwez

“C is for Cotton”

艾娜 is for جامان تۉش  / N is for Jaman tüş 

“N is for Nightmare”

Made in China started as an ongoing project of handmade Molas, which are unique hand sewn illustrated fiber art pieces made by the Guna women from Colombia and Panamá, their Molas show images of their cosmogony and are used as essential parts of the women's attire. My appropriation of Molas depict common consumer goods usually mass produced in China. This project intends to give awareness about mass production vs hand-made traditional crafts done by indigenous people from around the globe and the value given to fast-making and fast consuming goods vs the devaluation of tradition and environment caused by capitalism and consumerism. 

“Thirst” is the first of my appropriations of a Mola, and it tells a story about the indigenous communities suffering because of lack of water  and medical care among other basic needs. In Colombian Guajira, Wayuu children die every day of thirst and malnourishment, while civilized people focus on attaining stuff. Big companies arrive to Colombia offering money to  white collars in order to obtain permits to drill ancestral lands that have been cared for by indigenous communities for centuries  bringing drought to rivers, imbalance to full ecosystems and even killings to indigenous leaders and activists. All for  money that will never replace the environmental nor cultural loss. Indigenous communities from around the globe take care of the planet better than modern individuals, but their human rights are violated too frequently. 

"口渴  Kǒu kě / Thirst"

"球鞋  Qiúxié / Sneakers"

"球鞋  Qiúxié / Sneakers"

"缝纫机  Féngrènjī / Sewing Machine"

“无人驾驶飞机 Wú rén jiàshǐ fēijī / Drone”

"服饰  Fúshì / Apparel”

"美发产品  Měifǎ chǎnpǐn / Hair Products"

"手机  Shǒujī / Smartphone"

"哆啦A梦新番 Duō lā A mèng xīn iifān /Doraemon"

 迷宫 Mígōng / Mazej”

The series Idols was inspired by Pre-hispanic cultures aesthetics and each of the pieces was done with mixed media over repurposed "made in China" toys and appliances that had been disposed by their owners. The finished figures are meant to appear as if they were done in rock which is an everlasting natural material but, the reality is that these idols are fragile and would be very easy to break, revealing the man-made items bellow. Each idol is named in Runasimi, also known as Quechua language which is one of the remaining indigenous languages still spoken in the Andes Mountains since pre colonial times. This series questions the idolatry for consuming and buying things that give us a momentary sense of support as well as bringing awareness of how culture and traditions are being replaced by ephemeral stuff.

"Álli wíyaqoq"
(Repurposed toy speaker).
"Álli wíyaqoq" refers to a person that listens and obeys in Quechua.


In Quechua: Coworker.

Mixed media on repurposed toy laptop.


In Quechua: Jaguar.

Mixed media on repurposed manual chopper.

"Chíchu wármim tékan"

In Quechua: A pregnant woman is sitting.

Mixed media on repurposed teapot.


In Quechua: To trap, to capture to hold.

Mixed media on repurposed doughnut maker.


In Quechua: Transporter.

Mixed media on repurposed toy gum ball machine. 

Hamburger World

Employee of the Month is a series portraying photos of employees of a fictional diner called "Hamburger World". The employees I chose are immigrants from different origins, and I painted them using traditional headdresses from the cultures they belong to, as well as wearing the diner's uniforms. They are also wearing a name tag with an Americanized version of their birth name. The aim of this series is to question the viewer about the cultural diversity of the working class in the U.S. and how their cultural identities are often vanished by forced assimilation of a new culture.

In the other paintings I use the burger as a symbol of imperialism, I depict hamburgers in different places of the world, the American food can be found anywhere and this is at the expense of locals losing their own culture and risking their own businesses and economy.

Employee of the Month



Hamburguesa Criolla



"Itchy Ring"
In Cockney means Burger King

Nni Adinma
In Igbo it means "Unhappy Meal"

American Dream Catchers

American Dream Catcher VI

American Dream Catcher V

American Dream Catcher IV

The U.S. culture for objective outsiders is basically major advertisement, media and warfare. We know the United States because it has been and it is the American Dream to lots of people around the world, but once you are here you realize that "The American Dream" is gone long ago, and what remains is just the echo of media that never stops promoting how great Americans are. These series called "American Dream Catchers" talks about the failure of the american dream and how the original culture of this country, the Native American Culture was ruined and abolished by those that are recognize from abroad as Americans.
American Dream Catcher III

American Dream Catcher I

American Dream Catcher II

The following pieces were done before starting with this series, but the concept I worked there is related to consumerism and industrialization in the U.S, which is very pertinent to what I am trying to talk about in the "American Dream Catchers" pieces.

These are Our Planes
U.S Totem Pole

Tapetes Voladores

Flying Carpets

This series of rugs questions the encounter between tradition and industrialization, between nature and chemistry. Flying Carpets are part of old legends but even though these legends are fiction, in the present could be closer to become real. In the past no one could ever believe it was possible to fly over a carpet, today it would be easier to make a flying rug and people would not be that amazed.

Today there are a lot of ways to travel, including hallucinogens such as LSD, which people commonly call "Trips", or refers to the experience as "to travel in acids". But isn't it better to travel to marvelous places even if it takes more time? With the arriving of each new technology something that was part of our history is disposed. Every day life is more centered in the immediateness of things and how to make everything easier, and faster. These rugs were hand woven with a latch hook, to reinstate the importance of tradition and a slow process, each one represents an LSD sheet which always comes divided in grids over and illustration that alludes to the name of the "Trip" or acid.

The original title in Spanish of each rug is a word game between "Acido" which means (Acid) and "Has ido" or "Has sido" which both mean (Have you been).

¿Acido Astronauta?
"Have You Taken an Astronaut Trip?"
¿Acido al Jardín Botánico?
"Have You Taken a Botanic Garden Trip?"

¿Acido astronauta?
"Have You Taken an Astronaut Trip?"

¿Acido a la Playa?
"Have You Taken a Beach Trip?"

¿Acido a la Playa?
"Have You Taken a Beach Trip?"