15 | DIC | 2019
Art gives wings to Mexican inmates
Puig believes that art is an opportunity for these people to reintegrate into society as artists, and dedicate themselves to a dignified activity - Photo: Ariel Ojeda/EL UNIVERSAL

Art gives wings to Mexican inmates

12/07/2018
13:30
Sonia Sierra
Mexico City
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Encouraged by the artist Lourdes S. Puig, a group of inmates in Mexico City have created an art gallery

Alejandro Rubio Sandria is 34 years old and was imprisoned for 9 years and six months in a prison north of Mexico City. Every day he painted from 8 am to 5 pm.

“Art gave me wings. I felt a change of consciousness and I could look at things differently,” stated Alejandro, who was released 23 days ago.

He’s one of the artists featured in the Serie Libertad (Liberty Series) Kölektive.Feat exhibition which is being hosted at the Mexican Culture Seminar, bringing together the works of 14 inmates and two former inmates.

The works of art were created in prison, encouraged by the artist Lourdes S. Puig, who formed the Kölektive.Feat following her experience of working with inmates at the Mexico City prison.

The artworks displayed were created through workshops and conversations about contemporary art and technique experimentation. The series includes 30 works produced with mixed techniques (photo transfer, acrylic, oil on canvas, etc) in which the inmates reflect upon freedom and their own selves; many of these pieces are based on the inmate’s photographic portraits taken by Lourdes.

Since the month of March, 2017, the inmates have worked at an abstract artistic expression workshop which seeks to create and foster new artists.

To date, the workshop has become an incubator for artists. It seeks to find a professional alternative for people deprived of their liberty who have the capacity, discipline, and talent to become artists. The goal is to allow these inmates to make their way in the world once they are out of prison.

Lourdes S. Puig stated that the question “What is the meaning of liberty?” led her to visit the North facility, after which she decided to teach art.

“That’s when I got acquainted with Francisco Tejeda Jaramillo and his workshop. Together we made this group and we started teaching the inmates. In each of them I found a unique voice and trademark.”

Puig believes that art is an opportunity for these people to reintegrate into society as artists, and dedicate themselves to a dignified activity. This is why we have decided to show their work and put it on sale in places like the Library of Mexico, so that they may make their way to the United States and other countries. The profits will be used for a halfway house, which will serve as a transition for former inmates to reintegrate into society more smoothly.

The Serie Libertad exposition started on July 4, at the Mexican Culture Seminar in Polanco. Admission is free and the expo will remain open until July 29.

 

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