Mauricio Mayorga, "Art as a factor of change in society"

Environmental activist and artist

By William Richard Muenzer 

I cannot imagine how our days would be in this confinement due to the pandemic, without art in all its manifestations to distract us, accompany us, take us by the hand and show us a sensible world, a world beyond our solitude and our thoughts? Music, books, photography, videos, movies, memes, messages, will allow us to understand the above question.

 If we go back to prehistory, cave paintings can be considered as the great writings and great masterpieces of that time, the main legacy that allows us to understand the dialectic in the history of humanity and describe it, as it was presumed, extrapolating the information that appears from our reading and understanding of it.

In this context, the role of art at this time, takes on greater importance and a more transcendental role when one or many works are developed through a concept, creating greater satisfaction for the artist, more forceful works and effective communication directed towards the public.

The degree of identification of the artist, then, with the message that he wishes to transmit with his work, empowers him and if his personality and the theme warrant it, he becomes an activist in relation to the theme that he loves, his muse and the means of expressing himself: Peace, environment, nature, water, animals, etc.

Having said that we find that the role of art in relation to the problems that the artist focuses on is increasing. In the specific case of Mauricio Mayorga Zamora, his love for the sea and the peace that it transmits, leads him to look at the garbage that contaminates it and projects the negative footprint, galloping on the face of the earth, the fauna, the flora, the environment and the global scenario.

He learned from his indigenous older brothers from Colombia, tribes such as (the Arhuacos, Muiscas, and Guambianos) and from Peru and Bolivia (the Quechuas and the Aymaras) that the well-being of the Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) is closely related to the respect for nature and the environment and so around the year 2000 Mauricio decided to gradually focus his actions and works to spread this philosophy. Consequently, his art and efforts are linked to initiatives focused on nature, the environment, the well-being of the seas, and the peace as a life objective, creating international alliances to work together, which is why he was invited to participate in the exhibition called Mother Nature organized by Jesno Rengi curator of the art4you gallery in Dubai.

Colombia was designated by the UN as the host country for the World Environment Day Celebration, on June 5, 2020, and "art4you gallery" selected Mauricio, to represent Colombia, having learned of his work and management worldwide regarding the garbage pandemic and the toxic plastic islands, which was a good match to the theme of their exhibition.

As a conceptual artist Mauricio focuses his work on the sea, the garbage that contaminates it and his relationship with peace, with different artistic techniques which lead the observer to evaluate his footprint on the planet, making him participate in collective interventions of which he is a benchmark, as well as the performer (Relational art).

His work has previously been exhibited on more than 200 stages in 30 countries, mostly at official events in Celebration of World Earth Day EDN, World Water Day WWD and World Ocean Day WOD. He has had the endorsement of the Colombian diplomatic corps in the exhibitions of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Venezuela, the United States, Peru, Bolivia, Panama, Italy, and France. 

Mauricio has also participated in International events such as: 2019 XIX Congreso Internacional Gestión Residuos Perspectivas Ambientales, (International Residues Management Congress), 2012 Universidad Gran Colombia, ECCI. II Seminario Internacional en Biodiversidad, 2012   Jardín Botánico de Bogotá: Encuentro Distrital, análisis de la implementación de las políticas de educación ambiental. In Museums : 2017  Museo Histórico, Centro de Memoria y reconciliación, Celebración del Día Mundial de Naciones Unidas.  Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Huila, Neiva, Festival Internacional de Arte sin fronteras por la paz en Colombia; 2017    Museo San Juan de Nepomuseno Santa Marta; Museo Naval de Coveñas; Museo Nacional de Colombia; Museo de arte contemporáneo de Bogotá, just to name a few.

As a spokesperson for children from different countries, he leads the initiative that if recycling is taught from the moment all children on the planet enter school, the main cause of this toxic pandemic will be attacked at its roots and in about 10 years the problem would be minimized, which is why he was invited to make a presentation in 2011 at a world event at the United Nations central building in NYC. In 2017, he was appointed Allied Spokesperson of the United Nations Information Center in Bogotá and thus obtained the endorsement of UNESCO, having been appointed by the Colombian Ocean Commission (head of the Vice Presidency of the Republic of Colombia) to lead International level activities in celebration of the WOD. Some 200 events were visited by about 120,000 people.

Presently he has put forward this initiative to be adopted by Rotary clubs around the world. This is a widely spread, immediate, and low-cost action that as he estimates will change the history of humanity related to the environment.

In order to strengthen ties with art4u, Mauricio has extended them an invitation  to participate in the Virtual Cambass Museum exhibition, where he acted as a strategical ally and ideologue of this initiative until its inauguration on  July 20, 2020, opening doors of alliances with groups of artists, environmentalists and pacifists from Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and the United States, with whom Mauricio has been working: In Colombia Arte sin fronteras por la paz y Bogocine; in Brazil journalist Antonio Márquez, in  Argentina Premio Nevado Solidario, in México Organización Mundial de artistas integrados y Centro Cultural Baupres, and in the United States La Locura del Plástico.

The transcendental message that Mauricio leaves us as his most important legacy, is his peaceful approach to a global problem such as the environmental chaos which reigns in the world now, and that by utilizing art or any means at our disposal we engage ourselves and participate in a more aggressive and active way so to find solutions that are indeed long overdue. 

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