There’s very little information about Ana Teresa Barboza on the Internet except that the artist was born in 1981 in Lima, Peru and started using thread, stitching and embroidery in plastic arts a few years ago.
After having specialised in Painting at the Art Faculty of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Ana Teresa attended pattern designing courses at the Mod’Art International School of Paris (2007) and the Sofia Cenzano School of Lima (2009). These experiences gave her the tools that allowed her to grasp the concept of the human body and create her own interpretation.
Her work can be presented under the following headings:
Her first collection “Animales Familiares” (Familiar Animals) is structured around a human body, cut, reconstructed and embellished through the intervention of stitching and embroidery. Upon seeing her work, it is difficult to distinguish the boundaries between the human and the animal : both appearing to be as much bestial as fragile.
It looks like one has been made prisoner of the other permanently . The skin becomes a cloth, hiding a violent yet sensitive body. Then, human or animal, the skin is transformed into a metaphor that both decorates and shelters bodily organs, making us acutely aware of our own human bodies.
Whereas these pieces put the emphasis on the body and its innards, Barboza’s later work seem to bring a new perspective. The look that was focused on the body itself moves from the interior to the exterior, playing a social role. In “Modos de Vestir” (Dressing Codes), Ana Teresa uses items of clothing as a social link, gathering people together and allowing them to belong to a community.
Here are some instructions and cautions that every person wishing to get into fashion should follow. Ana Teresa deals with the relationship between the body and its measurements, on how to use the sewing machine, and gives advice on pattern designing. And she says all that through her stitching !
Some of her work deals with the same idea that consists of imagining the skin as a cloth and/or a blanket that needs to be adorned. This seems to be the message the artist wants to broadcast in this slightly “tortured” collection.
Has Ana Teresa been a victim of the proverb “one must suffer to be beautiful” (“No pain, no gain”)?
Just in case you still have some doubts about Ana Teresa’s talent and her obsessions about body and appearances, have a look at her magnificent and meticulous collection called “Maquillaje” (Make-up). You will discover both sides of the woman; with and without make-up.
Ana Teresa Barboza has received several prizes, among which are the award of Visual Arts “Pasaporte para un Artista” in 2006, and a painting award from the Central Reserve Bank of Peru in 2010.
Ana has shown her work in both individual and collective exhibits; in Lima (Peru), La Paz (Bolivia), Barcelona (Spain) and New York (United States).
Hello Ana Teresa, thank you for answering my questions. I was wondering how you got into sewing, and how old you were? Have you always loved sewing?
A: Sewing is something that I have inherited from my grandmother; she used to sew, embroider and weave. Everything she did was amazing. Each time I visited her she was always weaving something, adding embroidered flowers to a blanket or stitching a top. When I was 12, she taught me how to use the sewing machine and showed me the Burda magazine from which I made my first top and skirt. I could spend hours with the sewing machine, making clothes that I would never wear because I would end up destroying them.
Since the skin and the body are both significant concepts for you, would you say that you attach importance to the way people look at you? Has your work had an impact on your daily life, particularly on the way you dress and use make-up for example?
A: I had never thought of that, I don’t think so but who knows. A big part of my work is about the body, right from the start: the skin. I think that it is because at first my work, which had autobiographical elements, had more to do with the processes through which I was going. I felt the necessity of working from my body and according to what I was feeling. It was also because it was what I knew the most about, or that I wanted to know. I think it is the other way around : it is my life that influences my work.
I have seen that you have also worked on a series of embroideries about the sea. Could you tell me a little bit about this project?
A: The sea embroidery is the beginning of a piece that I am working on at the moment and it is about the transformation of nature and our lack of relation towards it. So what I do is suggest using embroidery and crocheting as natural techniques, which allow us to get closer to them.
Both embroidery and crocheting are techniques that require time. I use these techniques in order to make a connection between manual work and the processes of nature; creating thread structures similar to the structures that make a plant for example. My aim is to create pieces of work that simulates experiments, aiming to reconstruct nature, teaching us to have a new and fresh look at it.
Crocheting brings us closer to nature, forcing us to look at it differently, to explore its structures and processes. The idea is to take part in the weave to continue what nature started, transforming it according to its natural flow and structure, emphasizing the manual work within this creative process.
Did I imagine it or you have launched your own clothes line?
A: Yes, I did. I finished studying art at university and then I started to do what I had wanted to do for a long time, but that I hadn’t been able to because I didn’t have enough space. So yes, I started to make clothes and launched a brand of clothing with a small quantity of different clothes. Despite the fact I haven’t studied fashion design, studying art helped me regarding composition, colour combination, material and textiles. I was doing fine like that. Then, with other people of my age who were also making clothes, we tried to get a room that was empty within the Diseno Independente in Lima. That way I was earning enough money to live and produce art at the same time. But, suddenly the situation started to reverse and it was the art that financially supported my clothing production, so I decided to stop doing clothing and to dedicate myself only to art. I was making clothes from 2005 to 2012.
What brought you to study in Paris? How was the experience?
A: I came to Paris because I won an art competition organised by the French Embassy in Lima, called “Pasaporte para un Artista” (Passport for an Artist). The prize was a grant to go to France and study or to be in an artistic residence. I chose to go to fashion school and take a pattern design course. At the time I was still designing clothes, but everything I was making had to go through the hands of someone else who knew how to make templates. So I learnt some things there, but more than that, I learnt about everything I saw in the city and places I visited. It was great.
What are your sources of inspiration? Which artists do you admire?
A: Everything that’s around me: my experiences, my friends, my family, travel, cinema, books, clothes, nature. I have so many sources of inspiration.
Do you have any advice or an anecdote that you would like to share with the people that are reading this ?
My anecdote is also my advice : when I don’t know what to do with my work, in which direction to go, or how to start something, and I’m worried, my boyfriend tells me « Ana, do what you do all the time, do what you like to do ».
Thank you Ana Teresa !
To see more of Ana Teresa Barboza’s work click here!