aWAReness: Peruvian artist displays his 'peaceful' art at UNHQ

Friday, 20 April 2018

New York | UNODA

In 2016, Peruvian visual artist Ivan Ciro Palomino won the UN “Poster for Peace” contest with an illustration that was featured as the cover of the 2018 Disarmament Calendar. 

Bringing together symbolic realities, sometimes accompanied by irony, his new exhibition at UNHQ in New York displays sixteen illustrations that provoke us to look beyond the traditional notations of weapons and to see the impact of their use.  Here is how Palomino explains it.

Do you have a personal story or connection to disarmament that has inspired your art?

I have always been interested in topics that bring about self-reflection and, in May of 2016, when the UN announced the world contest to create a poster on nuclear disarmament, I was ready.

In Lima, I presented my first solo exhibition on topics such as war and its consequences, environmental pollution, logging, gender equality, among others. Later, I started focusing on the consequences of war and that’s how this exhibition came about.

We are all surrounded by the impacts of war. We see it every day in the media, movies, newspapers, etc. War is a sad reality that has influenced my art. Illustrations have the power to inspire change; they allow people to see the world around them. As an artist, having the power to encourage self-reflection is what motivates me.

What do you hope to accomplish and whom do you want to reach through your art? 

I hope to raise awareness about the impacts of war. I believe that my illustrations are like grains of sand that when they come together, they can be strong enough to stop swells of terror. My art can be seen and understood by everyone, everywhere, in any context.

What do you think people can do to promote disarmament and encourage peace? 

I think the most important thing is to understand and be aware of what war means, what it entails and what its consequences are. For this exhibition, I have selected sixteen pieces that promote disarmament and teach everyone the importance of making peace among nations. I use visual metaphors to illustrate that war devastates and mutilates us all. But just as I illustrate, in the end, there shall always be hope and that is part of my message.

View the exhibition catalog.