Visual Arts and Dance; bridging the language of expression.

For the last few years now I have been doing commercial live painting at events. It has been quite a rewarding experience that has introduced me to a lot of new and interesting people, seen many interesting things and had an opportunity to contribute creatively to many different events. I have been fortunate to paint live at many diverse events from private business events, public events such as Pan Am Games and Culture Days, and fundraisers like the most recent one with Toronto Arts Foundation and City of Toronto's Mayor.  I enjoy the challenges of creating a customized piece in a short time frame while having an opportunity to meet people and include them in the creative process. However, as I believe that an artist always needs to evolve (and I get bored quickly with the same thing), I wanted to see how I could push the expression of live painting in another format.

A few years ago my wife produced a dance piece called Stories That My Body Told Me. After the presentation we all talked about how we could continue to merge different forms of art together when the idea of blending visual art with dance came up. Forward to now, I am happy to say that the we brought this conversation into a reality in a creative collaboration between myself and one of the dancers from her piece Mateo Gilando Torres  and his dance company Form Contemporary Dance Theatre.  

 "I:Variations"  was presented at Burlington Center for the Arts and in Toronto in January of 2017. Below is a bit of the piece. 

"I:Variations is a solo created and performed by Mateo Gilando Torres with visual artist Carlos Delgado. The work explores the multiple realities that can coexist within one individual, and how these realities shift and mould through time according to circumstances and experiences. Carlos' live painting reflects back the layers of Mateo's consciousness seen and unseen. Music composed by Greg Harrison "

The process of fusing visual art with dance was a very interesting and new process of me from which both myself and Mateo learned a lot. Exploring how to tell a story of a feeling from apparently different mediums was a fascinating journey that had us experimenting with so many tangible and intangible aspects of  a performance. Using each detail, from light to type of canvas, to costumes, to music and silent moments, we brought to life a unified expression of different identities and expressions, at times seen and at times unseen. 

Sometimes it is easy to say, I am a painter, or visual artist, or I am a dancer and stay within the comfort zone of the craft which we have mastered or continue to master each day, but I think the fun lies in those moments when we step out of those pre-defined labels and simply say I am an artist; someone who uses a creative method to bring to life a story, reflection, a connection etc. 

The Constant Movement, Being Human in the System at Union Station

This September 29, 2016 I had the honour of painting a mural with Ontario Culture Days for the opening of the three day festival. It was the fist time that I took my series Being Human in the System into a public space, especially a public space with such movement, where we are always going, moving, being part of our man made systems. It was also the first time that I did Being Human in the System on large scale. 

The response from people was amazing, a lot of people stopped, watched and I think found a little bit of something relatable in the work. Since then I have seen many people post this photo on social media sites with their own interpretation of what the work means to them and this brings me great joy. As an artist I love when my art inspires people to create their own story and project that story into the artwork, truly making it a part of them. 

I wanted to share here below a gallery of the process and a video that captures the feeling of Constant Movement! 

The capacity of the human being to stay strong in the system, being human in the system.

Where it All Started

My artistic journey has been one of many ups and downs and even long breaks. Since I was little art was a part of my life and I was lucky enough to have parents, especially my father, recognize something in all of my sketches and doodles, which often caused me to be scolded by my elementary teachers for "ruining" all of my notebooks. For the last few years living in Canada I have been lucky to be able to give myself fully to my art and create a full time career out of it. This is why it was so special for me to hold my first solo show (in a commercial gallery) back home in Colombia where my family and my parents could come and for the first time see my work in such a professional context. 

I want to say thank you to all of my family and friends for support and for Gallery Carlos Drew Castro in Pereira at the Institute for Culture and Tourism in Colombia for inviting me to show my series Being Human in the System at such a beautiful space in the Museum of the Institute for Culture and Tourism. Below is a small selection of photos from the opening night which opened up with a large scale 7 ' x 12' live painting of one of my biggest Being Human in the System pieces yet. 

Photo credit by Alejandro Neira