Back in December, Enter Gallery was lucky enough to cross paths with Colombian street artist and illustrator, Erre, over at Miami Art Week. Erre was there to paint the streets of the US city with her signature stencil art, which depicts fierce female role models protesting against oppression. We were blown away by her work – and not just because bombs and explosives are a favourite motif of hers!
We’re pleased to announce that a number of Erre’s prints are now available in the gallery and online. In honour of this new addition, today we’re diving into the world of Erre to reveal a little more about her background and artistic inspirations.
Erre hails from a town called Zipaquirá on the outskirts of Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá. Her artistic journey began when she moved to the city, both for university and to immerse herself in the city’s growing urban art movement.
Here’s a little history you might not know about the street art scene in Bogotá… Up until 2011, street art was completely illegal in the capital. This outlawing of the medium came to violent head when 16-year old Diego Beccera was shot dead by the police while tagging his signature – Felix the Cat.
This tragedy sparked mass protests that resulted in graffiti being decriminalised. The mayor’s office even went one step further and invited street artists to the city to paint buildings, and to immortalise key Colombian figures, like Gabriel García Márquez, in city-funded murals. This about-turn sparked a movement that has turned Bogotá into what it is today – a leading destination in global street art.
Modern day heroines
Given the background of her city, it’s no surprise that protest lies at the heart of everything Erre creates. Her political work is inspired by her love for punk music, and is designed to raise awareness and spark action against inequality of all kinds.
While topics tackled include race, corruption and hypocrisy – Erre is particularly dedicated to challenging the culture of machismo in Colombia, to uplifting women, and promoting equal rights of women across the South American continent, and beyond. She reveals:
‘In Colombia, and really in all of Latin America, there is big problem with the rights of women. They do not receive equal pay for equal work, they do not get enough respect. There is a strong culture of ‘machismo’ that exists with the men all of the time. My work is intended to empower women.’
Erre’s artworks are characterised by her definition of modern day heroines – strong female figures with a punk rock attitude, who are standing together and playing an active role in bringing forth the change the world needs to see.
Uplifting the masses
Since deciding to pursue her talent for street art, Erre has been painting full time. While most of her work is done by stencil, she’s also partial to a spot of hand-painting.
In addition to her depiction of strong female role models, you’ll spy a number of recurring motifs across Erre’s work, fires burning and explosions (as mentioned above) and of human skulls. When asked to explain her use of skulls, Erre explains:
‘Everyone has a skull inside. Skulls are a way for me to represent humans and people in general, without referring to their gender or whether they’re black, brown or white. It is sort of a universal symbol of humanity.’
We’re delighted to welcome Erre to Enter Gallery. You can explore our selection of her artworks here.