Interview Attitude Magazine

the scream that

tears colour

The scream and inner conflict are the themes that the Chilean Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo deals with in his work, full of colour and contrasts. Through traditional and digital processes, the graphic designer and illustrator has been working on the theme of rage with portraits that arrive from the world over: the project “Angry People” can

be discovered online and also appreciated directly, in May, at the EBK Gallery, in Hartford (Connecticut), or at Illustrated 2015, an illustration and street art event held at The Old Truman Brewery (London).

— “Angry People” is a collaborative project. What is it based on? — The idea comes from my interest in the scream, a recurring theme in my work. A scream is a desperate demand for liberation, a symbol of protest and rage. It also arises, from what I have seen happening around the world, with people marching and rebelling, screaming for their rights. It is an ongoing project. People send me photographs, expressing their anger. Based on these I create na illustration, which I send them in high resolution to print, if they so desire.

— Using colour, you present the dark side of human beings. What do yo seek to capture? — I’m very interested in the contrast between a dark, sinister image and saturated and brillian colour (in the conflict beteeen the darker inner self and the radiant and colourful surface). This contrast adds appeal and impact

to the image. I don’t aim at creating a realistic portrait but, rather, to express the subject’s energy, their inner scream. I like the strength of this gesture of liberation of rage and impotence, asserting a wild side. I want to highlight the duality of the human being. Just like Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde.

— In an expressive and caustic way, you seem to portray reality as... risible. Perhaps. I use the grotesque to emphasise emotion. Empty expressions reveal exactly that: a dramatic expression that reflects profound solitude. Such eyes convey anguish, disbelief, fury. The absence of expression is, in itself, a means of expression. Even when the expression is one of self-control, I like to expose the internal conflict.

— Do you tend to have feelings of rage?

I’m easy-going and I’m rarely irritable... I free my rage through my illustrations. But what does put me in a bad mood are people who are shameless, in a stupid and devastating way; the abuse, greed and corruption of businesses and politicians.

— What would your self-portrait be like, in terms of colour?

— It would be far more monochromatic, just to be discreet ... 

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