The Aesthetics I come from

As I write this I am thousands of kilometers and one ocean away from where I was born and lived for twenty seven years.

I grew up in a living project for the police forces known as Viviendas Policiales or Vipol. My parent bought a home and came to live to a far zone in the outskirts of Lima, some five minutes passing the airport. They ended living in the very end of this new urbanization that used to be the farming fields of a hacienda. This was the explanation for the visitas that people received in their homes and almitas que penan or "dear souls that suffered". A few friends has stories about how in their house they had seen ghosts who looked like enslaved people and that they felt that the reason why they couldn't rest was because they had been made to suffer while alive. Known as haunting ghosts, where I grew up the emphasis was not on the fact that one is haunted or scared by ghosts but on a feeling of compassion for those 'little souls' that are in anguish, or in "pena". Seeing how my urbanization was full of thick layers of dry dust when I was a child, it was difficult to imagine that there had ever been fields in that place. 

After sixteen years of living in Vipol, my father left his family upon learning my mother was pregnant with me, their fifth daughter. He had begun a few years earlier a new family of which he had three children who were born close to the time I was born. He was made to retire from the police force and form then on he worked helping people presenting documents and yearly balances.


Growing up I always loved to read and my access to academic knowledge occurred through popular encyclopedic collections. The Mexican encyclopedias "Jackson" and "Tesoro de la Juventud" and from Spain the encyclopedia "Combi" and the encyclopedic dictionary "Espasa Calpe". The encyclopedias were scientific and historic oriented and the only arts featured were ancient arts, specifically from Greece. When we were 15, our school art teacher introduced to us the work of impressionists and post-impressionists from a school book from Juan Villacorta Paredes and those works echoed something in me. I remembered drawing particularly Chaim Soutine "Still Life with Herrings".