Chilean street artist Inti from Valparaiso, the port city characterized by a very particular cultural melting pot, takes the name from a combination between the Inca god and the Quechua word for the “sun”. Starting from the identity of his country, he creates a mixture of Spanish and indigenous heritage, showing symbolic references and traditional iconography. Inti grew up in a country where the end of dictatorship brought the use of murals as an instrument of social propaganda. He was influenced by this concept, in fact we read on his website: “Painting murals is a way for city dwellers to have a presence and to resist the homogenization of urban space. It is in this context that INTI adopted his strategy of what he terms Syncretism. In Latin America, syncretism was the cultural process in which the Indigenous and African cultures fused with the Spanish culture of the invader during the painful colonization of the continent”. The key to understand his work is the fusion that involves the Mapuche culture in the southern Chile and the Aymara and Quechua tradition in the north of Chile and Peru and Bolivia. Mixing up their stories, mythology, colors, symbols and culture, Inti creates a very personal world as a synthesis of this crossroads that identifies the whole continent.
Moving to Europe, Inti starts to introduce elements in loco in his art passing from a Latin American prespective to more global view. An example of this change is the piece realised for Wynwood Wall program 2015,in Miami, “Codo a codo” that means elbow to elbow. The mural shows a young couple holding their hands where, on each side, a shovel and a sword appear. In the background we admire a purple and brownish leaf decoration while symbols from his personal iconography emerge in different parts of the painting, as an ear corn in her hand and an olive leaf in his. This piece marks a departure from his typical style as the subjects are more realistic and human than his usual characters. For this mural, Inti took inspiration from Lewis Hines photography that shows child laborers in the XX century.