"Many of my paintings have titles in Quechua, the language of the Inca who are one of my greatest sources of
inspiration… I am deeply religious and believe the artist is an instrument of God."
"I'm Simeón Gonzáles Ayquipa and I was born in Cuzco on February 18, 1973. My parents are artisans who work in leather and other materials. When I was only nine, my father passed away, which complicated the financial situation at home. We had to struggle to get ahead and I found
consolation, comfort, aspiration and love in painting. I'd say that paint and colors flow through my veins in torrents. That same year, I entered an art contest and won first prize. That's when I
decided to major in fine art in Lima and, because I was awarded first place in the city of Cuzco, I received a two-year scholarship. After finishing my schooling in Cuzco, I moved to Lima to
attend the Escuela de Bellas Artes and what I learned there defined the profile of my work.
"I obtained my first oil paints when I was ten and I began painting my sheets, curtains, the tablecloths and even my jeans. Anything and everything could become the basis for my work. At first,
our economic situation led me to use a wide variety of natural materials such as different kinds of earth, oxides, plants and whatever organic compound I could to obtain distinct and surprising
colors and textures. They say 'there's nothing so bad that good can't come of it' and this has proven true for me, introducing me to a new conception of art and the use of natural and recyclable
"When I was only ten, I was already a founding member, active in the Cuzco Association of Artists and Contemporary Art (ADAPACC). I belonged to this association until 1991. On June 20, 1996, I
was named an honorary member in recognition of my work.
"At the same time, I decided to sell my paintings on one of the corners of Cuzco's Plaza Mayor. My works depicted beautiful Peruvian landscapes in watercolor and I paid close attention to my
surroundings. This let me capture life here with all its fascinating color. My first themes were traditional fairs, markets and especially Inca archeology such as ceramics and textiles. Andean
music also figures predominantly in my paintings and has become my leitmotif.
"Later, in Lima, I set up with the ASAPVIR artist association on a corner of the Parque Central de Miraflores, just as I had in Cuzco. They also let me use a workshop where I could work and live.
By this time, I was working in very large format with oils, acrylics and mixed media.
"In Lima, many people began to take an interest in my work – collectors, artists and politicians – and this helped me become known. My work began to circulate in every corner of the country. In
1994, I launched my first solo exhibit named Kuychi, or "Rainbow" in Quechua. A European art dealer bought every one of my paintings and, from
then on, I began to show my work in a number of foreign countries. My dream was to have my own gallery, and I eventually opened one. But I saw that this required me to take care of all kinds of
business matters, so I closed it to have more time to paint. When I had to choose, I much preferred standing in front of a canvas, spreading colors with my brushes. Once more, I was completely
absorbed by my easel, apron, oils, by my true world of art.
"I love the Inca culture. I'm very interested in the musical instruments our ancestors crafted from bone, bamboo and conch shells like antaras,
quenas and pututus. Many of these instruments figure in my paintings. When I was in school, I was drawn to Inca history and I've always
been fascinated by everything about our ancestors. My works are a product of this continuing search to discover the mysteries in the Andean vision of the cosmos. I believe that my own
contribution, no matter how small, serves to strengthen the discussion of our true culture.
"Between 1995 and 1997, my work was sought in the United States and in 1998, I began a series of exhibits in Europe.
"Many of my paintings have titles in Quechua, the language of the Inca who are one of my greatest sources of inspiration, a kind of generous muse. My palette is rich, varied and abundant, and
expressive brushes transport oils to the canvas in schemes, textures and blends that form plethoric volumes of qualities. But I neither persist nor stop in what I've achieved. To the contrary, I
am restless, innovative and bold. I burn quickly through each stage and give birth to a new artistic process on the altar of my easel. My artistic periods evolve and I strive to create new
things, all with my own style. I take advantage of certain shades that are the mark of my peculiar idiosyncracy, from the most representative – rooted in our ancestral culture – to a suggestive,
abstract language in my recent works. "I am in constant evolution. I'm an artist who doesn't stop when I feel comfortable. I investigate, I research pictorial art. I am seeking that which is
fugitive and fluid, to trap it and make it unalterable within the tremendous universality of a canvas.
"I'd describe my art as abstract figurative and my motivation is the beauty of nature. God is the most important of all, because he is existence and creation. I try to transmit the beauty of
simple things, of objects that are often unimportant. For me, art is a gift from God, a special gift, a responsibility of transmitting life and hope. What I do is a total
"My greatest challenge has been to edit a book of my works from childhood, which has been published in Spain. My hobbies are listening to classical music and collecting antiques. I am deeply
religious and believe the artist is an instrument of God. Because my encounter with art happened when I was so young, my love and dedication have continued growing and form a part of