Jonatan “Jade” Rivera is an autodidact street artist from Peru. Originally from Huancayo, but raised in Lima, he is in the process of planning a project called “Despierta” in his birthplace with the objective of inspiring new young artists.
Agnes Rivera interviewed him for Lonely Planet and asked him about the origins of his work and what inspires him.
“My aunts continued to wear polleras (full colorful skirts), lived in humble circumstances, continued to cook the same dishes and speak (Quechua) as they did in their hometown, so I grew up surrounded by the aesthetics of the highlands. And it’s reflected in my work. I find beauty in certain things from this culture and area of Peru and feel proud. That’s why I’m planning on doing a project there next year called Despierta”, he told the journalist.
Despierta will take place in 2019 in a small village called Pucará in Huancayo. The idea is to bring art to an area of Peru that has “little to no means to see art as a viable path to follow”. Jade and other artists will be painting murals that they hope will be a constant reminder and an act of inspiration for the younger generations.
“Personally, graffiti pushed me to explore and continue to learn about all forms of art much more than I ever had in school”, Jade said, who also mentioned that he went for a while to art school but eventually quit and taught himself.
Despierta is a project that has artistic and social aims and was inspired by ArteSano, which is a similar movement that Jade’s friend from the Dominican Republic, Evoca1, has organized in that country.